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Indy neighbors call for fire-prone home to be demolished

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis investigators are calling an early morning house fire on the city’s near east side arson.

They believe someone intentionally set the home ablaze.

The Indianapolis Fire Department responded to a vacant house in the 300 block of Harlan Street, south of Southeastern Avenue, at around 4:45 a.m. Tuesday.

IFD says since May 17, they’ve responded to the home four times for small nuisance fires.

“Intentionally set fires are unnecessary opportunities for firefighters to get hurt, curious kids to get in trouble and for neighboring homes to get damaged. They also temporarily divert resources from those in their community who have a legit emergency issue. Help us help you,” IFD said on Twitter.

Neighbor Diandra Jaboro says this is a wake-up call.

"My house is destroyed right now in the inside. [In] my bedroom, the window is about to pop any minute. I have smoke damage," Jaboro said.

Jaboro says it's typically homeless people who stay in the vacant house, but she didn’t notice anything too suspicious when she went to bed until she ran into two strangers that morning.

"They came into the yard and said, 'Do you have a water hose? Do you have a water hose? Because we want to try and spray your house," Jaboro said.

Neighbors would like to see the house demolished, like some of the other homes in the neighborhood have been.

"We contacted the city like maybe the third time it caught fire. They said they weren’t going to demolish it, so we left it alone," Jaboro said.

According to Indianapolis' Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, a lot of planning goes into demolishing a building.

Their spokesperson says an inspector decides if the structure is at risk of hurting anyone or if it's an emergency.

If the answer is yes, they start the process of removing it. But if not, it stays for the time being.

"You have to take into consideration the people that’s living in these homes. It’s like, tear these homes down. It’s not good for the neighborhood," Jaboro said.

If you ever see any suspicious activity around a home, don’t hesitate to call 911.

IFD's spokesperson says all house fires cost money whether they're a nuisance or not.

It’s budgeted that they will respond to 170,000 different instances a year.

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