The Las Vegas valley is bracing for a cool down over the holiday weekend. Temperatures are expected to dip into the 30-degree range Wednesday night and the overnight lows will remain there for the next few days.
As the weather turns cold, area firefighters expect to see an increasing number of house fires.
There were two this past weekend caused by squatters trying to stay warm inside boarded-up homes. There are currently around 16,000 vacant homes in the valley.
The homes become targets for squatters who are looking for shelter and a place to keep warm on a cold night.
In one of the weekend fires, it was the second time the same boarded-up home caught fire.
If you have a vacant home in your neighborhood that isn't properly secured to keep people out, you can call the zoning and building department for help.
- Clark County - (702) 455-3000
- City of Las Vegas - (702) 229-6251
- North Las Vegas - (702) 633-1536
"If the house is not secured, they can force them to hire someone to come in and board up the windows and the city can take corrective action if we deem it to be an issue of public safety, and the city will bill the homeowner or put a lean on that property to make sure it's taken care of," said Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
He says there are between 200 to 300 abandoned house fires every year.
8 News NOW went back to one of the homes that caught fire over the weekend, and a neighbor said that she's run squatters off several times, but they keep coming back.
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