Occupants of local home that burned weren’t supposed to be there

Amanda Rubio. (Jail photo)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Temple fire investigators have determined that the two occupants of a home that went up in flames early in the morning on March 15 weren’t supposed to be there and that the house had been tagged as uninhabitable.

Utility service had been disconnected to the house at 706 North 4th Street, Temple Fire & Rescue spokesman Thomas Pechal said.

One of the occupants, Amanda Rubio, 32, was arrested after police determined she was named in Harker Heights and McLennan County warrants.

She remains in the Bell County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond, charged with theft over $150, but under $750.

The fire destroyed the house and a vehicle that was parked in front of it.

Radian heat from the flames melted vinyl siding on the house next door and damged a vehicle in the driveway.

“Vacant residential buildings can present various problems,” Pechal said.

“These buildings are rarely maintained and often serve as a common site for illicit or illegal activity. In addition, vacant residential buildings are sometimes used by homeless people as temporary shelters or housing,” he said.

Property owners can reduce the risk of that happening by keeping up the yard, removing such potential hazards as flammable liquids and unused gasoline containers, securing doors and windows, leaving porch lights on at night and checking the property on a regular basis, he said.