Squatter saved from burning nuisance house on Elysian Fields

Squatter saved from burning nuisance house on Elysian Fields

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Smoke poured out of the windows and when firefighters arrived at this home on Elysian Fields, they found a man hanging out a window calling for help.

"We had crews immediately respond and they put up a ladder, got the gentleman out," says New Orleans Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell. "The other firefighters went and attacked the fire. They did a really fantastic job of getting the fire out real quick and then they did a search of the rooms to make sure that no one else was trapped."

New Orleans firefighters quickly extinguished the flames this morning.

Neighbors say it's not the first fire at the vacant house which they call a haven for squatters.

"We complain about this house, says Christiana Ford, pastor at House of Faith Ministries a few doors down. "Many people complain about this house and they will board it up and they'll come back and take the boards off it."

Ford says the abandoned home has been a constant problem.

"We have needles we have to pick up the needles they've been using and we have small children coming to church and families and I'm afraid," she says.

David Roe says neighbors have complained countless times to police and city.

The home has two code enforcement liens against it but neighbors worry even the fire won't keep the squatters out.

"They didn't even burn it all the way down so if you come back here tonight, they're going to be in there," he says. "The fire department, if anything, cleaned it out. They hosed it down and I swear, if you come back here tonight, you'll find two or three of them anyway if not right in that building, then in the one next door or in the yard in the back or over here somewhere."

Firefighters say the man they rescued didn't stick around as crews put out the flames.

Investigators believe unattended smoking materials started the fire.

FOX 8 reached out to city officials and the homeowner listed on city records for more information. We have not received responses.

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