Bradenton house fire ruled "suspicious"

BRADENTON - An abandoned, older, wood-frame house at 1923 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton caught fire at dusk Friday but no one was injured.

“I believe it will be a total loss,” said City of Bradenton Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Dave Foxall who supervised 11 fire fighters and five pieces of fire-fighting equipment at the scene.

Fire officials were not exactly sure where in the house the fire started or what started it. But they are not ruling out arson.

“This fire is suspicious,” Foxall said. “It’s under investigation. We also had a fire here last year.” The Bradenton Police Department advised the fire department on the way to the fire that no one was officially residing at the house.

"We found no one inside the house and no one was hurt in the fire, including any of our guys,” Foxall said.

When fire fighters arrived, the house was fully involved in flames that seemed to start in the lower two stories and shoot up into the attic, Foxall said.

“The rear or south section of the house was heavily involved in flames when we arrived,” Foxall added.

In order to allow firefighters to effectively combat the flames, police closed off Manatee Avenue West for about an hour from 19th Street West to 22nd Street West and detoured traffic to side streets.