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Officials say fire in vacant house was arson

WICHITA — Fire investigators are looking for people who frequented a vacant house in the 2700 block of East 13th Street, where a fire started this morning.

Wichita Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said the investigation unit determined that the fire was set intentionally. When the fire crews arrived about 12:20 a.m., the fire was burning through one of the windows.

Firefighters contained the fire to one room of the house, though the fire caused some damage to other rooms. The total damage was about $22,000.

Bevis said the fire department's investigation unit looks for vacant houses because they attract arsonists. He said landlords can assist firefighters by making entry into a vacant house more difficult.

"If you're able to secure it even with a lock or even a piece of plywood, it makes the target a little bit less obvious and that can help us out a lot," Bevis said.

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