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  • Writer's pictureABQ RAW

ABQ Arson Bug or 911 Abuser?

By: ABQ RAW Staff

POSTED: 11/08/2022 @ 3:40PM

File Photo of AFR Putting Out a Fire

Does Albuquerque have an arson bug or do we have a serial 911 caller (abuser) that is reporting bogus fires? Over approximately the last 24 hours, from 12:08pm on November 7th to 12:26pm on November 8th, there have been exactly forty fire dispatch calls for Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR). We are unable to report how many fire dispatch calls the Bernalillo County Fire & Rescue have received. However, we are very surprised by the high number of fire calls in ABQ within just a 24-hour period.

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File Photo of AFR Putting Out a Fire

It should be noted that four of the calls were cleared in under 3 minutes, which may have meant one of two things, it was a bogus call or whatever was on fire, it was caught early enough that AFR was able to quickly extinguish it. However, thirty-one of the calls took longer than 10 minutes to clear. On thirty-six of the forty calls, where the dispatch/clearance times were available, AFR spent a total of 637 minutes clearing those calls. When mapping the fire calls, it was noted that at least six were in proximity.


Yesterday, around 5:15pm, AFR was dispatched after a major fire broke out at an abandoned building at 1801 Mesa Vista Rd NE. A second alarm was dispatched because of the fire's size and its potential to spread to other buildings, in total 18 AFR units were dispatched. This fire was not contained until 9:53pm, but even after it was contained, additional AFR units remained on site to prevent any flare ups. It is believed that all remaining AFR units were able to leave the Mesa Vista scene around 6:30am on November 8th, however we do not have the exact amount of time that AFR spent on this call. The vacant frat house at 1801 Mesa Vista Rd NE was reportedly scheduled for demolition in October, but apparently that did not happen.

It should be noted that in June, there was a fire at 1705 Mesa Vista NE, which was also an abandoned frat house. The frat house off 1705 Mesa Vista NE had supposedly sat empty for four years before it caught fire. The cause of the fire at 1705 Mesa Vista NE was blamed on a homeless person(s) living in the building.

Our purpose of bringing these fire calls to light is, is someone wasting AFR’s resources or is there really a bigger problem, perhaps someone is intentionally setting things on fire. If AFR is running around town responding to bogus/fake calls, it hinders their ability to help people that may really have a life-threatening emergency. Likewise, if someone is purposefully setting properties, buildings, or other items on fire, this also ties up AFR's resources, so if AFR is busy responding to numerous deliberate/planned fire calls and a house fire or structure fire comes in, they may not have as many resources available.

We reached out to AFR for comment, but we have not heard back from them.

Fires from 11-7 to 11-8
Download XLSX • 14KB

click here to see all the fire locations - calls in red are in proximity

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