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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - Home Demolition Problem in Dayton; Residents Want Answers
Monday, February 11 2013, 07:15 PM EST
Home Demolition Problem in Dayton; Residents Want Answers
DAYTON -- A Dayton family wants answers from the city's housing department about why a home that was severely damaged in a fire is still partially standing in their neighborhood.

Neighbors say the home on Dover Street is an eyesore for their community. Jesse Rickett, who lives next door, says they're afraid the chimney, which is feet away from his child's bedroom, will fall into his house.

The home he wants torn down is where a fire broke out on January 13.
 
"It was very scary, there was a lot of loud booms," Rickett explained about the fire.

Weeks later the house is still standing and Rickett says it's a nuisance in the neighborhood and he's especially worried about his little daughter.   

"There's a little child's room there, you know. She's 3 years old and she can't even sleep in her room," said Rickett.

The Dayton Fire Department declared the home a total loss, but is not an imminent danger, which is why it wasn't immediately torn down. As a result, the decision on demolition then falls on the city's housing department.

"It cost a lot to demolish structures, especially structures in the city of Dayton that are as old as they are," said Kevin Powell, Dayton's Housing Inspection Manager.

Powell says demolition has been an ongoing problem for the city of Dayton.  There are 7,000 abandoned homes in the city, 70 of them are the result of fire damage. 

"Funding sources won't allow us to get to every one this year, the next year, it may be 4 or 5 years down the road, fire damage will be a higher priority but they are also more expensive," said Powell.

The average price to tear down a home in the city is $11,000.  Powell says he's seen some homes cost more than $50,000.

For Rickett, there's no price you can put on the safety of his family.

"You know I'm suppose to do everything I can to watch over my family and I feel like I'm helpless right now because this place is still standing," he said.

Since news reporter Annette Peagler brought this issue to the city's attention, there has already been some progress in the neighborhood . A day after Peagler first contacted Powell, workers were sent out to board up the home. Although it's some relief, neighbors say they'll be happier when it's completely torn down.Home Demolition Problem in Dayton; Residents Want Answers

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