Photos By John Hoff
The next morning, I saw a scrapper in the alley, peeling aluminum away from a broken window frame. Suddenly, I noticed the second story windows looked like ripped out eye sockets on a skull...
I called the police about the scrapper but nothing came of it, because everything he'd salvaged was already in the alley fair and square. Of course, the question is how it all got dragged to that alley in the first place and who was going to clean up the freaking broken glass after he got done stripping the aluminum off the frames, but I figured it wasn't worth getting frustrated about.
So often, the scrappers are performing a valuable service for the neighborhood and then earth. Then you turn your back for a moment, and they're stripping the siding off a house. I don't have a problem with handing them unwanted metal one moment, then calling 911 the next. People are, I figure, complicated.
The damage at 915 22nd looked pretty extensive and I wouldn't be surprised if a "director's order" came down to demolish this house. It was a nice-looking home from the outside, and it was situated in a rapidly-improving location. It's sad to see another one bite the dust but at least a slumlord won't get it. Sometimes revitalization happens by accident.
Or by arson.
However, I do not have information about how this fire started. My theory is vacant houses don't burst into flame all by themselves, and I think that's a good theory, but I'm not expert. If anybody knows something you can post it below but it would be far better if you'd contact the authorities.
ADDENDUM: An arson investigation placard has been posted on the front door of the property.