Denton firefighters work to extinguish a blaze late Thursday afternoon at an abandoned house in the 900 block of North Bell Avenue, near the Texas Woman’s University campus. No injuries were reported.

Smoke rolled south from a structure fire Thursday afternoon, covering Quakertown Park, passing Emily Fowler Central Library and briefly worrying those at Denton City Hall on East McKinney Street.

David Boots, a fire department spokesman, said a house in the 900 block of North Bell Avenue caught fire sometime shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Brisk northerly winds encouraged the fire and spread the smoke. Boots said the house was abandoned and is a known hangout for people experiencing homelessness. Despite speculation from those watching firefighters work, Boots said investigators hadn’t concluded the frequent visitors had anything to do with the fire.

Fire hadn’t spread to neighboring buildings by late Thursday afternoon, Boots said. No injuries were reported.

Denton Central Appraisal District records indicate at least sections of the house are at least 75 years old, having been built in 1945.

“They don’t make buildings like that anymore,” Boots said Thursday as firefighters continued to drive away smoke and flames.

Unlike modern homes, Boots said the house is likely made largely out of wood instead of having walls built with drywall. That means firefighters will have to use chainsaws to cut into the walls to kill the last bits of fire.

Even as workers sprayed water through windows and exterior holes, flare-ups continued Thursday afternoon.

“These [houses] are famous for hiding fire for six to eight hours,” Boots said.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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