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Vagrants suspected in east side fire

ALBANY — Fire officials in Albany believe that an early morning structure fire at 705 Holloway Ave. may have been accidentally set by vagrants staying in the unoccupied home.

Assistant Fire Chief Ron Rowe said the fire, which destroyed roughly half the building, was found at 1:16 a.m. and under control by around 2 a.m. Friday.

According to the official fire report, firefighters were advised by a nearby neighbor that the legal occupant of the structure had vacated the residence recently and has been living in a “care facility.”

Rowe said that a later report by Sam Harris, fire investigator, indicates that the fire most like started in a couch or large stuffed chair. Harris believes the fire may have been set by accident by vagrants living in the home.

According to Rowe, the fire damage was estimated at $23,900, or roughly half the value of the $45,000 home.