Birmingham Fire Department handles numerous fire calls - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham Fire Department handles numerous fire calls

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© Birmingham firefighters were called to multiple fires on Saturday night. (abc3340.com) © Birmingham firefighters were called to multiple fires on Saturday night. (abc3340.com)
© Captain Gregory Elston, Birmingham Fire Department. (abc3340.com) © Captain Gregory Elston, Birmingham Fire Department. (abc3340.com)
© Local resident Willy Merritt called the fire department Saturday morning to report a house that was smoking on 20th Street North. (abc3340.com) © Local resident Willy Merritt called the fire department Saturday morning to report a house that was smoking on 20th Street North. (abc3340.com)

The Birmingham Fire Department is staying busy in this cold weather. At one point they handled at least four active fires at the same time. One house, just down from the BJCC, even caught fire twice Saturday. The fire department is calling that fire suspicious.

From a house fire on East Ann Drive Southwest to another house fire on 20th Street North, Birmingham firefighters battled flames.

Captain Gregory Elston says "Battalion 2 and I had a fire earlier on 3rd Avenue Southwest. Those were abandoned apartments that had been boarded up and looked like someone was attempting to keep warm and may have started that fire."

As for the fire on 20th Street North, Elston says "As far as we know, it looked like it was set intentionally, it did not appear to be an accidental fire." It's the second time firefighters put flames out here.

"I called this morning cause me and my brother saw the house smoking this morning and police apprehended one guy, he was still in there. I think he was sleeping and trying to keep warm." Willy Merritt claims the home is vacant and homeless people have been staying there. "I've been calling the police on this house for almost a year and a half."

Captain Elston could not confirm all the details of this fire, but he is encouraging people to be careful in this cold weather and call family members and friends that might need a warm place to stay. "If they don't have a good safe heating source in the structure, it's very important they go to a neighbor's house or friend's house."

The city does not have a warming station at Boutwell Auditorium because of events going on. However, city leaders are encouraging people to find a local shelter such as the Firehouse Shelter on 3rd Avenue North.

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