Local News

String of fires costing Henderson taxpayers

Posted February 3, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The city of Henderson has formed an arson task force to find out how to deal with a string of house fires over the past year that have cost about $13,000 to put out.

Since last January, firefighters have battled 25 blazes that investigators say have been set, mostly in old abandoned houses, Henderson Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson said.

Henderson house fire Culprit sought in Henderson fires

This year, alone, there have been eight fires – three of which occurred on Saturday.

"What bothers me is the danger it causes our citizens living adjacent to these houses," Wilkerson said.

Robert Drumgold, who lives next to a house that burned on Monday, says he and other residents are worried, too.

"I didn't even sleep much last night, because I kept going to the window and and looking to see if the house was going to blaze back up," he said.

Neighbors say the houses themselves are part of the problem. Many of them are dilapidated and vacant and need to be demolished, they said.

Over the past two years, the city has spent about $80,000 tearing down houses, but getting to 120 others in the community would be costly, city officials say.

For now, the task force, made up of the Henderson police and fire departments as well as the State Bureau of Investigation, will work on catching the culprit.

"I don't know what's going on," said Carl Kearney, who lives next to a house that burned Monday morning. "But somebody's doing it, and they need to put a stop to it."


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  • dnice20ecu Feb 4, 2009

    I hope these vacant houses that are burning down are on andrews avenue! That place is a huge eyesore!

  • bushisaretard Feb 3, 2009

    Aren't firefighters paid whether they are fighting fires or lying around the station watching the soaps? Is this $13000 something extra?

  • woodrowboyd2 Feb 3, 2009

    the part i dont understand and i live in henderson is why dont they let it burn and cost less to have it removed
    they can protect the houses that are around it but after they put the homes out they are only good for scrap.

  • workingforthosethatwont Feb 3, 2009

    sounds like a real problem since there are not many taxpayers up there. But the fire dept should not complain when they actually have to go to work.
    Get on with the demolition of the old houses and make some of the slumlords/owners responsible for the expeneses.

  • NCSULandscaper Feb 3, 2009

    post a firefighter next to each house thats set on fire to make sure it doesnt spread and let them finish burning, then you dont have the expense of putting it out and the city doesnt have the expense of tearing it down