On the right, a "Code Red" structure -- we only enter if we *see* a savable life -- on fire twice yesterday. Missing 10' of foundation, numerous holes in the floor, and missing structural members.*
On the left, a house with roof crumbling around a truck company's vent h***, garbage bags over the windows, and an old man who came out to see if the neighboring house was on fire again. We only met him because I was wandering on the porch, assuming his house was also vacant.
"I don't got any insurance. My brother left me with the house. I stay in the front room because the rest of the house is too wet -- it leaks."
We can make educated guesses about whether a home is vacant or not. But just because a house looks vacant doesn't mean someone's not down on their luck, living inside, wishing they lived someplace better.
And for their lives, we search. It's only vacant when we've confirmed it.
*Added for clarification.