Selma’s history going up in smoke, residents’ safety in jeopardyPublished 8:31pm Thursday, June 27, 2013
With Tuesday’s fire in the 400 block of Alabama Avenue, Selma as a city should be concerned about its history and homes going up in flames. We commend the Selma fire and police departments for taking quick action, and urge them to look deeper into this recent series of fires throughout our historic district.
These homes — all several decades old — burn and spread quickly. As seen Tuesday, one fire can quickly turn into two or three. The first blaze Tuesday began in an abandoned home, but the second was a residence.
And although police have located two suspects — both juveniles — in the case, we encourage the SPD to question all other recent fires, as they could have started with arsons as well.
Tuesday’s fire marks the third blaze to take a home in the historic district in the past three months. The first consumed an abandoned house on Mabry Street in Old Town. The second claimed the John T. Morgan house on Church Street, one of Selma’s most historic homes. And although both fires occurred in abandoned homes, they stole a piece of history from Selma, something we will never be able to get back.
If it hasn’t become obvious already, there is definitely a problem occurring in our downtown residential areas. Whether these fires are intentional or accidental, we can’t afford to have these historic homes go up in flames — taking precious history with them. Our safety and peace of mind are paramount, and these fires are putting that in jeopardy.