Fire damages ‘abandoned’ house


Oak Bluffs firefighters extinguished a fire Tuesday evening in a small house near the intersection of Tradewinds Road and Wing Road. The house was hidden in an overgrown yard, with no apparent entrance. Firefighters snaked hoses through brush to combat the blaze. The fire appeared to be contained to the interior of the house. Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Nelson Wirtz, who described the house as “abandoned,” said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

Rene Cheatham, who said she owns the house, called it “vacant,” not abandoned. Cheatham said the house sits on a lot adjacent to other lots in her family, and was poised to get utilities. Cheatham said she has had trouble in the past with vandals and graffiti taggers. Cheatham said the house was moved onto the lot from County Road, and doesn’t have insurance on it. Cheatham didn’t agree the yard was overgrown. Chief Wirtz commended a Massachusetts State Trooper who helped out at the very start of the fire response. State Police spokesman James DeAngelis told The Times the trooper’s name was Darron Tucker, assigned to Oak Bluffs for the summer and regularly stationed in Dartmouth.
Chief Wirtz said it was fortunate it wasn’t windy, and the fire didn’t spread to the surrounding vegetation. 


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