High number of abandoned home fires, causes heavy workload on fire dept.

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PARIS, TX -- With yet another abandoned house fire Monday in Paris, code enforcement is trying to speed up the process of tearing down the town's dilapidated structures.

Paris Fire Chief Larry Wright, who also heads code enforcement for the city, says the abandoned homes and buildings in the city become unsafe and are targets for vandalism and fires.

"The ultimate solution is to get rid of the houses," says Wright. " Then we won't have the issue of these indiscriminate fires that we are having lately."

Wright says notifying the homeowner, cutting off utilities and going through all the processes of demolition takes at least three months before they can even begin demolishing the home.

"We've sped that process up, especially in the last year," says Wright. "We have torn down 124 houses in the last year and about another 100 on the list that we are looking at to try to have torn down."

Wright hopes to have most of the abandoned homes demolished within the next year and a half, which will help reduce the work load on the fire department.

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