Warehouse fire ruled arson

Photo by Clay Thorp

A fire broke out at an abandoned building, formerly Hadley's Furniture warehouse, at the corner of McFaddin Avenue and Forrest Street in Beaumont around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night, Sept. 18. 

Beaumont Fire Captain Earl White, who is investigating the incident, confirmed the fire was started deliberately. 

There was some initial concern from neighbors that there may have been homeless people sheltering inside the building, considering it’s close proximity to Some Other Place, which provides services to the homeless. 

“They sleep in this building,” said Beaumont resident Lacree Clark, who lives next door to the building that caught fire. 

Clark said she didn’t know any of the people personally, but said she has seen them go in and out of the warehouse. 

"There was evidence of transient activity in and out of there,” White said. “The place wasn't secure. They're looking for a place to sleep or a place to take stuff out of. I can tell you that there has been some stuff taken out of there — copper wire and things like that."

Beaumont Fire Department District Chief Jared Smith said Wednesday night that firefighters found no one in the building and that the fire was under control around 11:45 p.m. 

White said he is investigating the possibility that Wednesday's fire was related to the fire which was set Sunday, Sept. 8 around 11:28 p.m.

"There was a fire last week at (Hall) McSween's (Canvas and Upholstery),1075 Calder," White said. "It was deliberately set, but I don't know if these two fires are connected."

No one was in the building at the time of the Calder fire.

White asks that anyone with any information about the fires contact his office at (409) 880-3905 or Beaumont Crimestoppers at (409) 833-8477.

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