Posted at: 04/02/2013 5:16 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Tuesday morning, a Northeast Heights neighborhood saw a house they'd been fighting to have torn down for years completely demolished.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 was at the home on Lexington near Juan Tabo and Candelaria on February 13 when they were ready to knock it down, but after a confrontation with the owner, left it up longer.
"It's something that we'd like to see gone," next door neighbor and neighborhood association president Bob Trudo said. "It's sad that we have to lose a family's home, but quite frankly if we don't, we have to put up with this, and this is something we won't do, we can't afford to do, it's about time we pushed back."
Neighbors say they started protesting that the house was in poor condition and that “suspicious tenants” were renting rooms in the home more than a year ago. But the main reason for demolishing the home was more concrete.
After a fire in January, the house was completely gutted. After a second fire the night of the Super Bowl, it was in even worse shape, with walls and rafters completely missing and the roof caving in.
During the first fire, the home’s owner passed away; she left it to her son, Marty Adams. He claims that the city didn’t give him sufficient time to get his belongings from the property, and didn’t fairly allow him to choose his own contractor to handle the demolition. He’s displeased with how the City Safe Strike Task Force handled the situation.
The City Safe Strike Task Force says, though, it needed to get the house down as soon as possible and that it handled all matters properly using the appropriate court orders.
"Not only is it for the surrounding properties that are very close to each other, close proximity, but also for our emergency responders," City Safe Strike Task Force deputy director Joe Martinez said.
Martinez says the home was so unsafe that emergency responders would not be able to go back to the house again.