Police Urge Homeless To Seek Shelter
By Mark Gerlach
CITY OF NEWBURGH – A pair of fires erupted in the City of Newburgh this week. One occurred in an abandoned building, where a squatter was said to have been dwelling. Winter is a busy season for fires due to reasons like furnaces malfunctioning. And the homeless may also use abandoned residences as a place to keep warm during the cold winter months.
“In the winter time, homeless people do what they have to do to stay warm, which includes using vacant buildings to squat,” Police Lt. Richard Carrion said. He noted, however, that there’s no concrete, statistical data to support the observation.
A fire occurred at 201 North Miller St. Tuesday in an abandoned three-story brick building. There was a squatter in the building, who was evacuated from the premises without injury by the time police arrived, acting Fire Chief Terry Ahlers said. It doesn’t appear that the squatter started a fire to keep warm, Ahlers said. He isn’t believed to have been inside when the fire started.
“Winter is a busier fire time,” Ahlers said. Some reasons why fires are more prevalent in the winter include heating and furnace malfunctions, as well as people attempting to thaw frozen pipes, he said.
For the complete story read the Friday, Feb. 12 edition of The Sentinel.