Residents Say Homeless People May Have Started Fire In Norman

Monday, January 23rd 2012, 7:43 pm
By: News 9

Residents at a mobile home park in Norman counted their blessings Monday, after a weekend brush fire came too close for comfort. Homeowners weren't surprised that the fire came so close to their homes and many think they know how it started.

1/22/2012 Related Story: Fire Rousts Residents From Norman Mobile Home Park

"This is the closest I've seen it since I've lived here," said Chase Lynch. "I was actually behind our house with these three houses with the water hose trying to keep everything damp."

Lynch and some of his neighbors said dozens of homeless people live in the area behind their trailer park.

"They don't keep up out there, they don't mow and they don't take care of it at all," said Travis Hayes, who also lives in the trailer park. "There's a bunch of homeless people out there, they're always starting fires."

Monday, several people in the trailer park were talking about how lucky they were that the fire didn't destroy any of the homes, but they said the fires started by the homeless people are putting their neighborhood in danger, even if it's not intentional.

"If it ever hits one of these trailers, they got gas and it'd be over then," Hayes explained.

His neighbor Dennis Maloney also shared his concern about the homeless group living behind the trailer park. Maloney hopes Sunday's fire is a wake-up call for authorities in Norman.

"They're going to cause a lot of damage to this area," said Maloney. "They're gonna burn it to the ground."

They want something done before their worst nightmare comes true, because too many fires have come too close.

Maloney wants law enforcement to get involved to remove the homeless people. He was convinced that more fires will happen as long as they are allowed to stay behind the trailer park.

It is unclear whether the area behind the trailer park is publicly or privately owned, which would determine who's responsibility it is to patrol.

Norman's Deputy Fire Chief told News 9 on Sunday that the fire could have been started by transients in the area. There is still no official cause on the fire as of Monday.