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Neighbors say squatters lived in Pueblo home damaged by fire - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Neighbors say squatters lived in Pueblo home damaged by fire

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PUEBLO -

Firefighters in Pueblo are now investigating a fire at a home near 26th and Norwich on the north side of the city.

The fire began just after 4 p.m. Thursday, and though the cause is under investigation, crews and neighbors have a pretty good idea: squatters.

""It was wide open, it was unoccupied, appeared to be nobody in it. Most of the neighbors had confirmed there wasn't anybody in it at the time," said Captain Woody Percival, with the Pueblo Fire Department. "So, we took a defensive stance."

James Odette has been living down the road for about a year. He said he sees people come and go from the house all the time.

"It's a squatter house. People come in there, get high, do drugs, stuff like that, you know," Odette said. "Homeless people looking for a place to crash for the night, you know, a roof over their head."

Firefighters tell News 5 that no one was injured.

Crews battled the fire from outside the home, deemed the safest method for the situation. Because the home has been vacant for several months, firefighters quickly determined there was little worth saving inside the home.

When crews got on scene, flames and smoke could be seen pumping through every window and door opening in the home.

Odette said he thinks the home has been vacant for about a year. Another neighbor told News 5 she's seen squatters peak into her home from the vacant property.

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