A fire that broke out in an unoccupied Seventh Ward duplex caused the structure to collapse and damaged a second nearby duplex Monday afternoon, the New Orleans Fire Department said.
The fire started at 1640/1642 North Claiborne Avenue. NOFD firefighters arrived to the scene just before 4 p.m. to find the duplex engulfed with heavy smoke and fire. Shortly after their arrival, the duplex collapsed but the fire continued to burn and moved to the duplex at 1644/1646 North Claiborne Avenue.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze by 4:47 p.m. and stop the fire from spreading further into two occupied properties in the 1600 block of North Robertson Street, but the damage to the second duplex was too severe for it to remain inhabitable.
NOFD said 1644 North Claiborne was unoccupied, but two people lived in 1646 North Claiborne and are now displaced due to heavy smoke and water damage. Despite initial reports of 1640/1642 North Claiborne being unoccupied, the owner of the property said vagrants had recently been asked to leave the property.
A second search was conducted on the original building where the fire took place, and no victims were found.
No NOFD firefighters were injured battling the blaze.