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  • Writer's pictureAndy Hogue

Austin Fire: Pecan Park area shed fire intentionally set

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

While Austin's very capable fire departments responded to a recent blaze and quickly got it all under control, it was too close for comfort to Pecan Park neighbors and businesses.

The Austin Fire Department, assisted Volente and Cedar Park departments, responded to a structure fire on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 24 that showed just how vulnerable we are to homeless camping.

The fire that started in an abandoned storage shed on Mellow Meadow Drive, near the Westwood Baseball Field, quickly became a grass fire, endangering the many homes and businesses nearby, not to mention school facilities and vehicles on nearby U.S. 183. According to Fox 7 News, it spread to grass along Pecan Park Boulevard. It was contained by late afternoon.

The fire was later ruled "incendiary," which by definition means a fire that has been deliberately ignited under circumstances in which the person knows the fire should not be ignited.

Whether or not it was a homeless camp in that abandoned shed, one thing is clear: an uptick in homeless camps surrounding a shelter can become a fire hazard. Especially in an area where there are still "mellow meadows" and empty lots that can turn a simple structure fire into an all-encompassing blaze that affects hundreds if not thousands of Austinites. And this as certain Austin Council members are assisting with the distribution of propane tanks to homeless camps!

Add this to the many reasons to oppose the conversion of Candlewood suites into Permanent Supportive Housing. Message the City Council at Let them know this isn't just about your opinion on homeless shelters, but a concern for your life and safety!

Images courtesy of @AustinFireInfo on Twitter/X.

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