KERMIT RYDELL / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Fire engulfed a shanty yesterday afternoon on the edge of Keehi Lagoon Park. Squatters had been removed Tuesday.
Shanty fires follow sweep of squatters
Firefighters extinguished two fires at Keehi Lagoon Park yesterday where authorities had evicted about 50 squatters and arrested 15 others only a day earlier for various offenses.
"It is my understanding that it was in the same general area of where (Tuesday's) sweep was," said Louise Kim McCoy, of the state Department of Public Safety.
The afternoon fire apparently burned a wooden shanty built by a squatter.
On Tuesday, squatters were allowed to retrieve their belongings from the shantytown after the arrests over offenses that ranged from traffic to criminal. Two men were arrested for sexual assault, and one for drugs.
The Department of Transportation's maintenance crew, responsible for clearing away the structures, was delayed yesterday because of rain, McCoy said.
Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said the first fire, which started at 8:25 a.m., was out by 9, while the second fire, reported at 2:21 p.m., was out by 3:40 p.m. Both fires were classified as rubbish fires and were behind the tennis courts at the park, Seelig said.
Fire investigators could not determine whether the fires were intentionally set, and no one was at the scene to give firefighters clues to the fires' origin.