Neighbors concerned about squatters in Springfield neighborhood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Neighbors are getting fed up after a vacant house burned at Grant and Grand.

The home was supposed to be vacant, but a group of homeless inside scrambled to get out when the flames started.

"There was a lot of trash, and clothing and things like that scattered throughout the home that had burned, so we have to remove that out," Springfield Battalion Chief Brian Athen

He says it was more than likely homeless inside of the vacant home Thursday morning when it caught on fire. Neighbor Mary Mitchell says the squatters in the vacent homes on Grant Street is an ongoing problem.

"The police, they be coming over there running them out of the house all the time, and everything," said Mitchell. "But they go back because they kick the back doors open all the time."

City documents show several complaints have been made on 921 South Grant Street. The house has been inspected by the city twice over the past couple of months.

A month ago, a letter was sent to the landlord saying the house was a "public nuisance," along with orders to correct problems.

The documents also show that less than a week ago, police came out to the house and said they asked six homeless people to leave the residence.

"I'm just hoping the landlord will do something about it, board it up or something, or tear it down." said Mitchell. "You know, because it's making our neighborhood look bad."

The city says early next week, the house will be boarded up. The city of Springfield will also add the fire to things that need to be fixed on the house before they'll sign off on the inspection.