Fire at unoccupied duplex destroys neighboring home, displaces two people

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NEW ORLEANS -- A fire at an unoccupied duplex caused the building to collapse this afternoon and also displaced residents of a neighboring duplex on North Claiborne Avenue.

According to the New Orleans Fire Department, firefighters responded just before 4 p.m. to 1640-1642 North Claiborne Avenue, where they found a one-story, unoccupied duplex engulfed in flames.

Moments later, the building collapsed, and the fire caused heavy smoke and water damage at the neighboring duplex, which had two occupants. The damage is too extensive for the residents to stay there.

Other neighboring homes were not damaged, firefighters said.

The owner of the unoccupied home had reported vagrants living in the building.