The Ridgewood Retirement Community caught ablaze Saturday evening about 5:30 p.m.
Flames did not spread through the entire facility, but could be seen shooting from the 9th Street side of the complex about 6:30 p.m.
BFD spokesman Brad Pennison said there were vagrants in the area when the fire started and several eyewitnesses said homeless people had settled in the largely abandoned facility.
"There were some transients here when the firefighters first got here," Pennison said.
Ridgewood closed down after numerous inspections revealed lackluster accommodations for the facility's occupants.
No injuries were reported.
Stay tuned to The Examiner for more details as they become available.