City looking into recent spike in historic home fires

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- This month alone, three historic homes in Little Rock have burned to the ground.

Now the city of Little Rock is looking into this.

The board of directors is working with the Fire Department and Quapaw Quarter Association to see what can be don.

Right now the city code is to have houses secure and boarded up but that doesn’t always happen.

So now, the group is looking for ways to ensure that and to take it to the next level.

“It’s got everybody’s attention,” said Capi Peck, Director Ward 4, “four pretty major fires in six weeks within a several block area and all homes on the historic register, most being rehabbed, that’s troublesome.”

Little Rock City Director of Ward 4, Capi Peck said it’s hard to ignore the pattern.

“Two within 48 hours that’s just really unheard of,” said Peck.

So Peck is joining forces with Patricia Blick, the Executive Director of Quapaw Quarter Association.

“We want to see something, something needs to be done,” said Patricia Blick, Executive director of Quapaw Quarter Association.

Both Peck and Blick said the homes that have burned weren’t secure and that’s the biggest problem.

“If there was a strong wind the front door would blow right open,” said Blick.

“It’s a challenging time of year because many abandoned houses are warm safe havens for unsheltered people,” said Peck.

Bick said she’s worried because there are 500 unsafe and vacant homes in Little Rock.

So their first order of business is to secure homes so there are fewer break-ins and hopefully fewer fires.

“Obviously that doesn’t ensure that the buildings cannot be accessed but it would help if it was a little bit more challenging than walking in the front door,” said Blick.

Next would be a change in city code, to possibly add security systems or fire detectors.

Either way, Peck said getting neighborhood watch involved will be imperative.

“I always think its always best to have eyes on the street and awareness,” said Peck.

As of now, many of the fires are still under investigation.

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