TOWN OF NIAGARA – Investigators were called to the scene this afternoon after a suspicious fire that destroyed an abandoned mobile home at 185 Paul Drive in Sabre Park.
The home was one of only a handful left in the rundown park near Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.
Niagara Active Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Assistant Shawn Jasper said fire crews were called to the scene at 2:15 p.m.
Jasper said eyewitnesses reported seeing one to three males running away from the scene prior to the fire. The assistant chief did not know who owned the home.
“The abandoned trailer was fully involved when we arrived. There was heavy fire and heavy smoke conditions,” Jasper said. “As of right now, this is under investigation. Police, fire investigators and cause and origin are looking into this.”
Jasper said investigators are taking everything into the lab to determine what may have started the fire.
“Due to the nature of the fire and size of the fire, they are leaning towards [arson],” he said, “but nothing has been officially reported.”
No injuries were reported and no other homes were exposed, Jasper said, adding that about 30 to 40 trailers remain in the park.
The Fashion Outlets II bought the 32.65-acre trailer park in a foreclosure auction on Oct. 5 and the few remaining residents who attended the auction told The Buffalo News they expected to lose their homes.
Jasper said there about 25 residents remain at the park, most of the homes were in arrears and remaining residents have been served eviction notices and told to be out of the park by February.
Sabre Park had once been home to about 268 mobile homes, but had fallen into disrepair before last month’s auction.
The park manager sought to demolish 130 home several months ago because of their poor condition, and the park’s management office was fire bombed on June 18, a crime that remains unsolved.