It is fourth fire in same area in a month

Arson investigators have been sent to the scene of the latest house fire in South Taft.

This fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Montview Avenue just off Crystal Street.

It caused heavy damage to a house that was abandoned, boarded up and posted unsafe by the Kern County Building Department in 2008.

The fire broke out just before 3:30 p.m. and it is the latest in a serious of fires in South Taft that have heavily damaged or destroyed four homes and at least one garage.

Kern County Fire Dept. Battalion chief Brent Moon said this fire was set by someone.

“This was human caused, obviously,” he said. “We've had four in the same neighborhood.”

Three of the fires have been on Montview Avenue and a fourth just east on General Petroleum Avenue.

Firefighters fear this won't be the last.

Another vacant house sat across the street from the one that burned on Thursday, its front door wide open.

“We think that one's going to be next,” said Capt. Guy Finocchiaro.

Moon said firefighters aren't just afraid of losing more vacant home.

They fear the potential human cost.

“The odds are stacking up that someone's going to get hurt. We want to avoid that,” he said.

Moon said fliers may be distributed in the neighborhood asking for people to report any suspicious activity they see, especially people going into or hanging around abandoned homes.