Abandoned duplex catches fire near Fort Lauderdale

Firefighters find personal belongings inside, suggesting squatters living there

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Investigators are trying to determine what caused an abandoned duplex to catch fire Tuesday morning near Fort Lauderdale.

A homeless man called 911 about 5:30 a.m. to report a fire at the duplex on Northwest Ninth Court near Northwest 27th Avenue.

It took Broward County firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the flames.

The abandoned duplex was scheduled for demolition Thursday so Habitat for Humanity could build a new house on the property.

Because the windows were boarded up, firefighters had to use saws to cut them off.

Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Ray Briant said he considers the fire to be suspicious.

Firefighters found several personal belongings inside, suggesting that squatters were living there.

Nobody was hurt.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.

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