JONESBORO, La (KTVE/KARD) -The town of Jonesboro is trying to fight the blight as part of their town beautification project. They are doing this by using an interesting method of setting dilapidated houses ablaze.

Leslie Thompson, the mayor of Jonesboro, gave insight into how they chose this method. “There are a lot of houses that are dilapidated and that needed to be demolished or burned, and we were trying to figure out some kind of way to address this issue. So what we did was enter into a collaborative agreement with the fire department to burn them down.

Brandon Brown, the town compliance officer, happens to also be the fire chief, so the plan was able to work perfectly for the town. “When I see one that’s dilapidated, we give the homeowners the choice. Hey, you can fix it back up, get it restored to get into compliance with the town, or we can come in and burn it.”

Brown also said that burning the buildings is perfect practice for his fire team. “The ones we can burn. My guys get hands-on training. It gets no better than that. My new volunteers get to see and work a structure fire. and it helps the home owners because a lot of it takes the burden off of them. “They couldn’t fix the home; they didn’t have the money to fix the home.”

The town has been focused on beautification for years Mayor Thompson said. “Jonesboro has been really focused on beautification and aesthetics for a long time. “This is not something we just started.”