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October 28, 2009 - Joe Gorman
The one question on everyone's mind Wednesday morning as city firefighters hosed down hot spots on one of three vacant Pennsylvania Avenue homes that burned to the ground earlier is which ones are next.
As crews from the Street Department finished the work begun by an arsonist and demolished what was left of the homes in a foggy mist, all eyes were trained on the four vacant, boarded up homes across the street.
And there were at least two more on the street that are vacant.
This vacant house problem will not go away anytime. Even with an aggressive demolition program begun by Mayor Jay Williams that was not ended until the money ran out, the city has simply far too many to take care of in a short amount of time, and it seems for every one they demolish, another takes its place.
Arson investigators say they think a recent spate of blazes on the North Side are unrelated, but that is no big relief. There's too many targets out there and too many opportunities. Like those on the scene Wednesday morning, all a budding arsonist has to do is drive around and ask, ``what's next?'
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