AUBURN | A vacant industrial building in Auburn caught fire on Sunday morning due to human intervention, but it is unclear if that action was accidental or purposeful, according to the Auburn Fire Department.
At 6:10 a.m., the Auburn Fire Department responded to the scene of 22 Perrine Street, a vacant commercial property that was once Auburn Cement Products.
Firefighters had the blaze under control after about a half hour, AFD said. There was nobody injured, but there was significant visible damage to a structure budding from the main property.
The fire was mostly confined to this adjacent, approximately 10-by-30-foot structure, but Assistant Chief Mark Fritz said flames did spread about 3 to 4 feet into the main building before they were controlled.
Investigators are mostly certain that the fire started in a plastic barrel, which was used as a trash receptacle, located inside of the adjacent structure. After the fire started in the barrel, firefighters said it crept up the walls of the smaller structure and spread quickly.
Fritz said there was no electrical power in the building nor was there any sort of act of God that could have started a fire.
“There was some human action that took place,” he said. “And the question is if there was intention or not.â€
The investigation is still ongoing, but the direct cause of the fire may be recorded as undetermined until more information comes forward at this point, Fritz said.
Neighbors reported that there may have been homeless individuals sheltering inside the smaller structure, according to Fritz. There have also been reports of children frequenting the property.
However, Fritz said there were no reports of recent activity of this kind.