UPDATE: Police investigating North College Avenue house fire as arson


The 1200 block of North College Avenue was shut down Friday due to an abandoned house fire. According to Fire Prevention Officer Tom Figolah, nobody was injured. Ty Vinson

The Bloomington Police Department is investigating a Friday house fire on North College Avenue as a possible arson. The house was empty and there were no injuries from the fire.

BPD Sgt. Ben Burns said security guards who patrol the house told police transient people frequently come to the house and cook on a charcoal grill in the basement. The guards said they saw transient people at the house as recently as Wednesday.

The Bloomington Fire Department, BPD and ambulances were dispatched at 12:05 p.m. to the 1200 block of North College Avenue. Fire Prevention Officer Tom Figolah said a passerby called 911 after seeing flames and smoke coming out of the basement windows of the abandoned house. 

He said BFD conducted two searches of the residence to ensure no humans or animals were present.

The fire spread quickly through the entire house and into the attic due to the house being old and having additions, causing empty space between walls and floors, Figolah said. 

The fire shut down the section of North College Avenue in front of the house for a couple hours, but it is currently open. Figolah said Friday the cause of the fire is unknown and is still under investigation. He did not respond to a Saturday phone call asking for more information about the arson investigation.

This story was updated at 12:50 p.m. Jan. 11 to include information on police's arson investigation.

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