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Crews battled flames at vacant Lafayette building for four hours, no injuries reported

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Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 23:43:13-05

The Lafayette Fire Department says no injuries were reported after a fire at an abandoned building near the Evangeline Thruway on Thursday.

Firefighters responded to the 200 block of Sixth Street at its intersection with Chestnut Street after receiving multiple reports of smoke coming from a vacant structure.

The three-story wood framed building was the former home of Freedom House of Acadiana, LFD Spokesperson Alton Trahan said. The facility for addiction care has been shut down for several years and was in "poor condition."

Firefighters initially found smoke coming from the front porch area of the vacant building that was mostly boarded up to prevent anyone from staying inside.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in the front of the building. As firefighters entered to stop the fire from spreading to the upper floors, they learned the flames had already progressed to the third floor and attic area. As firefighters worked to suppress the fire on the upper floors, the fire began to consume the roof area.

Crews were then ordered to evacuate immediately due to the rapid spread of the fire and concerns over the building collapsing.

At one point, Trahan said, the entire third floor and roof were engulfed in flames.

The blaze took firefighters over an hour to get under control; flames weren't extinguished for four hours.

Trahan said the building sustained heavy fire damage and officials deemed the structure unsafe, with concerns of additional collapse.

No one was inside the home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Investigators determined the fire began in a front room of the building. Evidence in the building indicates that individuals have been sleeping in the home, said Trahan.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Anyone with information on the fire should contact Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS or the Lafayette Fire Department at 291-8716.