Squatters may be involved in abandoned Irwin Street structure fire

Dayton fire crews responded to an abandoned storage shed fire in the 600 block of N. Irwin Street this morning after a patrol unit noticed heavy smoke coming from the building.

Recently disposed trash was found outside, leading officials to believe squatters may have been involved.

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Determined too dangerous to enter, crews cut holes into the structure to fight the heavy flames inside, Dayton District Fire Chief Matt McClain said.

Once the fire was extinguished, crews were unable to get inside because of the collapsed roof. Officials are unsure if the roof was caused by the fire, or the structure’s deteriorated state.

Abandoned structure fires are not uncommon in the Dayton area, with several popping up over the last months.

McClain attributes the problem to parts of the area becoming overgrown, and cautions the public to stay away from abandoned buildings.

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"Sadly, with the homeless issues that we do have, we get homeless people staying in the buildings to get out of the weather and things like that," McClain said. "We have a lot of abandoned buildings in the area, they're very dangerous."

Officials are working to determine the building's owner while the incident remains under investigation.

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