City of Centreville admits fault, pays homeowner -

City of Centreville admits fault, pays homeowner

There was no need for laywers or wasted hours spent on the phone or at meetings trying to convince city hall to do the right thing.  In Centreville, Illinois leader just did it on their own!

Here's the story:  Back in February there was a house fire on Pershing.  Firefighters came and put it out.  But soon after they left, next-door neighbor Eddie Givens noticed the fire was still smoldering.  He called emergency dispatch but no one came.  He called a second and third time, no one came... not until the fire engulfed the house and destroyed it.  In the process the heat melted the siding on one side of Eddie's house.

We talked to him the morning after the fire and he was so frustrated because he knew none of this would have happened had dispatch sent out a police officer or firefighter to come take a look.  I called the police and the city that day but no one called back.

I moved on to a new story the next day and as the weeks and months went by I never gave the Centreville fire on Pershing on February 4th another thought.  Until today.  I got a voicemail from Eddie Givens who told me he just wanted me to know the city paid him $3,000 for the damage to his home and he fixed it.  This didn't happen the other day.  This happened just a few weeks after the fire.

Givens said he spoke with Mayor Mark Jackson and his alderman Paris McIntosh and the men told him, "Don't worry, we will take care of this."

And they did.  Wow!  They say you can't fight city hall?... In Eddie Givens' case it was nice he didn't even have to.

Way to go City of Centreville!

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at

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