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Burned out buildings finally set for demolition

September 17, 2012 2:42:43 PM PDT
Neighbors in Mount Vernon say a row of burned out buildings are unsafe and dangerous.

They were left to crumble after a fire.

Red tape has kept the buildings form being torn down.

Deborah Viruet lives next to a vacant, decaying, animal-infested, barely standing horror house on South First Avenue in Mount Vernon.

It's been that way for nearly nine years.

"It's going to collapse. There's no roof on it. The chimney is just standing there. If lightning hits it, it's coming down. Children walk here each day to go to the middle school and the park. That's my biggest fear," Viruet said.

Enough is enough said Richard Thomas. The councilman wants the home and three other city homes in similar condition torn down immediately.

It turns out the mayor and city leaders want the same thing. So why, after nine years, has it not happened?

"The law department. That's one of the main culprits. In fear of being sued by a property owner who walked away from this property more than eight years ago," Thomas said.

"Unfortunately there are legal processes that need to be filed, that need to be taken care of prudently because if not, we will subject the taxpayers to lawsuits," said Nichelle Johnson, Mount Vernon City Attorney.

Nichelle Johnson told Eyewitness News it appears the city finally has the legal green light to tear down the home and several others in the next two to three weeks.

Deborah Viruet says it can't happen soon enough.

"It's buckling and there is a big gaping hole that happened like last month. And the city promised they were going to do something about it and they haven't done anything about it in nine years," Viruet said.

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