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    Fires caused by transients or homeless continue to pose a serious challenge | News – Bakersfield, California

    Bakersfield, California 2021-12-26 20:00:00 –

    Earlier this month, the flames burned hot and high as they tore old and charming homes on Chester Avenue and Nineth Street in central Bakersfield.

    In cities where fires in vacant homes have become disturbingly common, the 1970s old house pubs and Earthworm Studios, which provided skilled graphic arts services upstairs.

    Stephen Humphreys, a member of the Bakersfield City History Preservation Commission, is also a councilor of the Kern County Historical Society.

    “I don’t think local history makes much sense to most people in Bakersfield, especially under a certain age,” Humphreys said. “For those of us who have been here for a long time, every time we lose one of these old men, it is a connection to the irreplaceable past.”

    Retired police officer Humphreys said many of Bakersfield’s movers and shakers lived in these homes at once. He said that losing them is losing part of our history.

    “It only makes me sad,” Humphreys said.

    Bryan Bowman, a spokesman for the Bakersfield Fire Department, said Thursday that the Fire Department’s fire department had not yet identified the cause of the devastating fire on Chester Avenue.

    However, the surge in house fires and other flames caused by torts, temporary, or homeless individuals has been a source of concern for some time, he said.

    “We anticipate more than 50,000 service calls this year,” Bowman said. “Currently, we have more than 49,000 people.”

    Of those, 5,358 calls are related to homeless or temporary people, BFD records show. This is more than 10 percent of all calls.

    And of that number, 1,520 were fire departments. And 80 of them had a fire.

    “We see global warming fires, garbage fires, and building fires,” Bowman said. And fires on the dry Khan riverbed occurred almost every day during the warmer months.

    A veteran firefighter worked for 16 years at Station 2 in Old Town Khan near East 21st Avenue and Baker Street, and he’s seen it all.

    “My own perspective?” He said. “It keeps getting worse.”

    The agency’s fire investigation unit has made 43 felony arson arrests this year, a staggering percentage. Of the 43 arrests, 41 were transient or homeless individuals. In other words, the temporary ones accounted for 95 percent of the sector’s arson arrests.

    Companies are often forced to install security measures, cameras, reinforced doors and windows, and even razor wires on the roof.

    “Cities and counties tried to deal with the problem,” Bowman said. “Unfortunately, that seems to be the fact of life in California.”

    Retired National Association of Realtors member Frank Simon is familiar with the homes on Chester Avenue and Nineth Street. Because my grandfather, my dad, and all of him owned a house at once.

    “They bought it after World War II, before I was born in 1948,” Simon recalled.

    “I actually went to a nursery there … and once, the guild house was there for a few years before they moved to their current location on 18th Avenue,” he said.

    Simon bought this place in the early 1970s and has had a series of tenants for many years. But more recently, temporary things have caused serious damage, forcing Simon to spend more money on repairs and security measures.

    “It was a constant problem of people breaking into buildings,” he said.

    At one point he hired a private security service at the event. But that didn’t solve the problem.

    Simon finally sold it a few years ago. But then nothing happened.

    “I still have a lot of emotional attachment to it,” he said of a building that was badly damaged by heat and fire.

    Humphreys said another home on 17th Avenue and D Street in downtown Bakersfield was burned down in a similar situation earlier this year.

    And the Californians covered the story of the vacant Fourplex at 2205 20th St. in downtown Bakersfield. ..

    As a former police officer, Humphreys offered some potential solutions.

    “Targeted community-based police activities with mental health workers need to take these people to shelter and treatment,” he said. “I know the city is starting more to deal with the problem, but it needs to be strengthened.”

    Reporter Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @semayerTBC.

    Fires caused by transients or homeless continue to pose a serious challenge | News Source link Fires caused by transients or homeless continue to pose a serious challenge | News

    The post Fires caused by transients or homeless continue to pose a serious challenge | News – Bakersfield, California appeared first on Eminetra.

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