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A home was destroyed by a fire at Winona Street and Vernon in Lakewood Friday evening.

Neighbors fear squatters started the massive fire that gutted the Lakewood home.

Crews could do little against the three story flames.

A spokesperson for West Pierce Fire says it's unclear how many people lived in the home, but no injuries have been reported.

Neighbors say the homeowner left it unoccupied more than a year ago and since then, squatters and thieves have crept through the unmanned doors.

The criminal element across the street was disheartening. I saw two men just two months ago leaving the house and putting heavy items in the back of a U-Haul. When I confronted them they said they were just looking but then floored it, said neighbor Aaron Young.

Investigators won't know until Saturday if anyone was inside the home at the time of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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