UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

Ruppel has confirmed that the burning house was vacant and boarded up. The house’s address is 61 Amherst St., and so far there are no reports of injuries. Firefighters are now hosing down hot spots in the roof area, and the fire is under control, having caused what appears to be only cosmetic damage to surrounding houses.

Police say homeless and vagrant people have been known to stay in the house. Firefighters will conduct a search of the building once the fire is put out.

Charleston Fire Department got a call at 1:36 p.m. about a fire on Amherst Street. The call came from 63 Amherst St., but public information officer Mark Ruppel says the report was from a neighbor.

Nathaniel Glover, who has lived his entire life at 59 1/2 Hanover St., says the house that caught fire next door had been empty “for quite a while now” and that the owner lived elsewhere, possibly in Mt. Pleasant.

As firefighters hosed down the house around 2 p.m., pieces of siding began to fell off and chunks of wood fell to the sidewalk. A crowd had gathered to watch the firefighters at the intersection of Amherst and Hanover streets.

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