UPDATE: New details in Monday's Cedar Rapids flood zone fire
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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
A Cedar Rapids home was destroyed by fire Monday night.
It happened on the 1200 block of M St. SW and was the 40th one to happen in a flood zone since the flood.
Neighbors say they're tired of it.
"Well it's really frustrating," said Randy Richardson. "That house is burned up and we have neighbors that aren't fixing their houses up and it's really hard because we put new sidewalks in. We're really working hard to get this thing fixed up."
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says they were warned after the flood that an increase in fires was possible.
But still---they can't be sure why there's been 14 just this year.
"If somebody's staying in there, if somebody is frustrated and burns them down," said Greg Buelow, Public Information Officer. "Or in one particular case, the person saw it as an opportunity to try to extrapolate copper."
The fires are mostly happening in buildings that have been abandoned for the past four and half years.
But in many cases---there's been reports of people inside the homes before the fire, like the one Monday.
Cedar Rapids Police say they were called there just after midnight on Saturday and again around 8am, when they found a woman inside the house. Right now she's being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, and other charges could come later.
"A house that is left in poor condition, that's not secured, that is not well maintained and kept up, maintained well, is a target for somebody with ill intent," said Buelow.
That's why some people on the street want to see it cleaned up.
"I'd just like to see the neighborhood go ahead and get together and make a better place of it," said Richardson.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
If you see anyone around a fire site or have information about a past fire, contact the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, or can call the arson hotline, 1-800-532-1459.
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