House fire near Old Town sparks questions about squatters in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Neighbors of an abandoned home that went up in flames earlier this week, believe squatters could be to blame for the fire. “It was just bound to happen,” said Jacob Montoya, he owns a wood working business close to the home on Zearing Avenue near Old Town.

Montoya says he’s been anticipating something devastating would happen to the property. “Same thing as always,” Montoya said. “Squatters next door – then just as we suspected, there ends up being a fire.”

Earlier this week, the property next door to Montoya’s woodworking businesses went up in flames, putting Montoya’s business in danger. KRQE reached out to the city to find out which department is responsible for dealing with squatter situations, specifically getting the squatters out of home like the one on Zearing. We were referred to the new Albuquerque Community Safety Department.