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Arson causes an estimated $1 million in fire loss annually in Fort Worth

Posted May 8, 2019

a boarded up building
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The Fort Worth Fire Department is targeting arson at vacant and abandoned buildings this year in an effort to reduce property loss, deaths and firefighter injury.

An estimated 23,800 vacant residential building fires are reported annually in the United States. This accounts for 6 percent of all residential building fires, resulting in an estimated 75 deaths, 200 injuries and $785 million in property loss each year.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, vacant and abandoned building fires also cause a disproportionate share of firefighter injuries. These buildings can have a negative impact on a community’s image. They may result in increased criminal activity and other public safety problems.

More than 72 percent of fires reported in vacant or abandoned structures are of incendiary or suspicious origin, and an additional 5 percent of the fires result from children playing with matches.

In Fort Worth, fires in vacant and abandoned buildings are consistent with national statistics (6.7 percent in 2017), but declined in 2018 (1.6 percent). In 2019, these types of fires are once again trending with national statistics (5.4 percent).

Arson causes an estimated $1 million in fire loss annually in Fort Worth. Each year, investigators are requested to conduct an origin and cause investigation at approximately 600 fires.

Fort Worth employs 21 members in its arson/bomb squad. This team provides 24-hour response, scene processing, case follow-up, expert testimony and K9 capabilities for arson and bomb incidents. Each member is state-certified as a firefighter, police officer and EMT/paramedic.

The most common property types for arson are vehicle (50 percent), residential (32 percent) and commercial (15 percent). The most common motives are revenge and insurance fraud.

Arson is a felony offense in Texas. Residents can help reduce arson at vacant and abandoned buildings by reporting suspicious activities or actions to local law enforcement or by providing specific information on any arson incident to Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous.

In addition, code violations can be reported to the city’s Code Compliance Department at 817-392-1234.

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Calendar

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. May 20, 2019; City Hall, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. May 20, 2019; City Hall, Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Possible Quorum of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Board: 10:30 a.m. May 20, 2019; Hyatt Regency DFW (Terminal C), 2334 North International Parkway, DFW Airport, Texas 75261.
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Collective Bargining Negotiations between the City and the International Association of Fire Fighters: 1:30 p.m. May 20, 2019; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Aviation Advisory Board Meeting: 3 p.m. May 20, 2019; Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, Conference Room 306, 201 American Concourse, Fort Worth, Texas 76106.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 20, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, 2nd floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Rosemont Sewer Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. May 20, 2019; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Cody Meyer: 9 a.m. May 21, 2019; Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Azalea Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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Audit Committee: 1 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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How to Form an LLC or Corporation in One Day in Texas: 1 p.m. May 21, 2019; James Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled AllianceAirport Authority: 2 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Lone Star Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 21, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Cody Meyer: 9 a.m. May 22, 2019; Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Azalea Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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Making Prospect Calls - Prospecting for Success: 11:30 a.m. May 22, 2019; James Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth After School Coordinating Board: 11:30 a.m. May 22, 2019; FWISD Board Room, Board Conference Room, 2903 Shotts Street.
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City Plan Commission: 1:30 p.m. May 22, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. May 22, 2019; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Transit Moves Fort Worth Public Workshop Meetings: 5:30 p.m. May 22, 2019; Fort Worth Central Library, 500 West 3rd St.

WJ Boaz & Bowman Roberts Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 22, 2019; Northwest Library, 6228 Crystal Lake Drive.

Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 22, 2019; Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, 9601 Fossil Ridge Rd.

Upper Clear Fork Wastewater Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 22, 2019; Thomas Place Community Center, 4237 Lafayette Ave.

Breakfast at the BAC - Cara Kennemer: 7:30 a.m. May 23, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Mayor's Committee on Persons With Disabilities: 10 a.m. May 23, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, Room 201 AB, 818 Missouri Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76104.
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Transit Moves Fort Worth Public Workshop Meeting: noon May 23, 2019; Central Station, 1001 Jones St.

Memorial Day Cookout at Riverside Community Center: 4 p.m. May 23, 2019; Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. May 23, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. May 23, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Affordability, Inc.: 5 p.m. May 23, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Transit Moves Fort Worth Public Workshop Meeting: 5:30 p.m. May 23, 2019; TCC Opportunity Center Room 1440, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Luau at Thomas Place Community Center: 6 p.m. May 24, 2019; Thomas Place Community Center, 4237 Lafayette Ave.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.