About 90 percent of the city's vacant property fires are arsons, says Robin Nicoson, Indianapolis Fire Department's chief of safety.
"Some of these vacants are totally engulfed when we get on the scene, and that's where our incident commanders need to weigh the risk and the benefit," he
"But if there are people inside, firefighters are still doing primary searches, and it gives us a chance to get more people injured."
Once the fire department leaves the scene, the building remains life threatening, and the city could be held liable for any accidents that occur afterward, Nicoson
For example, if children play in the structure and it collapses, the city could be sued.
If another fire erupts at the same site, the location is even more dangerous for public safety personnel.
Even so, firefighters still must enter such buildings during a fire because their first mission is to rescue any occupants even though the structure may collapse.
"The only things we are going to gain are injuries or death because you are going into something that's already burnt," Nicoson