Self-Proclaimed ‘Crackhead’ Sets Fire in Vacant City of Springfield-Owned Building

(Left) Meagan J. Martinez – age 39 (Right) 1020 N. 10th St., Springfield, Illinois – Vacant City of Springfield-Owned Building

Springfield, Illinois – On November 20, 2023, around 12:44 p.m., the Springfield Fire Department and the Springfield Police Department were dispatched to a vacant building at 1020 N. 10th Street, currently owned by the City of Springfield.

1020 N. 10th St., Springfield, Illinois – Vacant City of Springfield-Owned Building

An employee for CWLP called in to report smoke coming from the door and flames inside the building. Upon arrival, the Springfield Fire Department extinguished a small intentionally set fire in the corner of the building and discovered a woman inside. The woman was identified as Meagan J. Martinez, age 39.

According to the firefighters at the scene, Martinez, whose address is listed as homeless, admitted to setting the fire and said, ‘You don’t bother any other crackheads in here, so why are you bothering me?

Martinez was Mirandized and questioned about the fire, and according to Springfield Fire Department Arson Investigator Clint Warnisher, Martinez stated that she knew the building was vacant and that it was owned by the City. She acknowledged that she had no permission to be there or permission to start a fire inside the building.

Martinez was taken to the Sangamon County Jail and charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with Arson, a class 2 felony, and Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property, a class 4 felony.

She was released from the County Jail after being granted pre-trial release. A Sangamon County Judge ordered her to stay away from all vacant buildings as a term of her pre-trial release.

Martinez’s next court date is December 14, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.

We checked out the area near the vacant building, took some photos, and spoke with a resident in the area. She informed us that squatters have been staying in the vacant residences pictured below. She also mentioned a rat problem due to issues with the sewers in the area. Despite her efforts to address it with City Workers, nothing has been done about it.

The following pictures were taken on the same block (N 10th St.) and within walking distance of the vacant City-Owned Building.

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