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Early morning house fire accidentally started by homeless woman


A house that has been vacant for many years burned to the ground overnight in Kirbyville.

A call from Jasper County dispatch went out at 2:29 am Saturday morning regarding a house fire on 112 N. Kellie Avenue in Kirbyville. The abandoned home was located across the street from the old Kirbyville Banner office. Employees have noted numerous homeless people living in the house for many years, most recently, a woman living there alone.

Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Chief Greg Ellis said, "The people living across the street were awakened to someone beating on their door. They said that a homeless woman, Bonnie Beck was at their door saying that a candle had accidentally fallen over and caught the house on fire." The house quickly went up in flames.

When asked about the homeless situation here in Kirbyville, Ellis said, "Homeowners/property owners really need to try to keep the homeless out if they can. While everyone needs to stay warm, how they stay warm can cause problems. They light candles or fireplaces to try and stay warm and they can easily catch a house on fire, just like what we saw this morning. Even if you don't care what happens to your property, a fire could burn a neighboring house."

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