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Burned home not abandoned, man says

No arrests have been made in last week's arson fire that burned a vacant house at 934 Eighth Ave. S, and the house's owners wonder whether vagrants set the fire accidentally or on purpose.

The two-story house had been empty about eight months. Neighbors considered it a nuisance because drug users frequented the property. But the house's owners, brothers Marty and Bob Singer, objected to fire officials calling the house "abandoned."

"We've been in and out of there at least once a week," Marty Singer said. "We had the electricity turned off, but we keep the water on for when we go over there to work on the place."

Someone was seen leaving the house about 15 minutes before the fire was reported the morning of Dec. 21. Singer said the owners had problems with vagrants staying in the house.

"Once every two weeks, I was in there throwing somebody out," he said. "Once I found three guys who said they were renting the place."

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