Call Colombo: Neighbor fights for demolition of vacant, burned-o - KMOV.com

Call Colombo: Neighbor fights for demolition of vacant, burned-out home

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A home in Ferguson has been abandoned since a 2009 fire but the city has not yet taken action. A home in Ferguson has been abandoned since a 2009 fire but the city has not yet taken action.
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A woman in Ferguson is worried that her neighborhood is being destroyed, but it has nothing to do with recent protests and riots.

"I see my good neighborhood doing down the tubes," said Debra Winslow. "I will never be able to sell my home with this next to me."

The home next door to Winslow's was abandoned after a fire in 2009, which left the house collapsing from the outside in and the property overgrown.

Winslow said she has asked the city to clean up the property for years.

A warning was posted on the home saying it would be demolished by the city if the owner did not clean it up within 30 days, but the notice was posted in October 2013 and the city never took action.

"This house has been on our radar for two years," said Public Works Director Matt Unrein. "Unfortunately the city only has resources enough to demolish about six homes a year. That's about $50,000."

New funding will be available next month, said Unrein, and the house in on the demolition list. But Unrein hopes someone would buy the home instead, which he believes is worth saving.

"If one of the viewers wants to step forward and save this house from the wrecking ball, that'd be fantastic. It is again, a beautiful neighborhood," said Unrein.

Another impediment to a resolution for the home is that the mortgage is held by Bank of America, who is responsible for maintaining it, but Unrein said he hasn't been able to get BOA to clean up the property.

A Bank of America spokesperson said that while the bank holds the lien, their rights and responsibilities of the property are limited. However, BOA said they asked their property preservation vendor to attend to the property.

Since the segment on the vacant home originally aired in June, several News 4 viewers have expressed their interest in purchasing the home.

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