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East Carbon officials, citizen volunteers will demolish dangerous house

Flames erupt from the windows during last June's fire.

By C. J. McMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter

Following several reports of dangerous conditions which tempt local children, a contingent of East Carbon City officials and town volunteers have decided to tear down a burned out and condemned residence on the city's 800 West block.

"We have had reports of children playing in the ruins of that home," said East Carbon Mayor Orlando LaFontaine, during an earlier 2012 city council session. "There are a hundred ways for young people to hurt themselves in around that structure. Something has to be done."

The structure, located at 121 8th West, went up in flames on June 27, 2012 nearly catching neighboring homes on fire as it burned. While the home was a complete loss, its dilapidated frame still stands and has become a cause for concern.

East Carbon Police have taped off the property on multiple occasions and posted signage which prohibits trespass. Despite their best efforts, however, kids are still being spotted playing around the former residence.

Typically, city officials would place the responsibility of making the area safe and clean on the home's owner. However, several deaths in the family associated with the residence have left the property basically owner-less and a dangerous eyesore for the city.

In the wake of multiple complaints, city council member Darrel Valdez developed a plan of action.

"I have got everything lined up to go forward with a demolition on 8th West," said Valdez during Tuesday's council meeting. "We have multiple dumpsters lined up, a volunteer to run the city's trucks and plenty more volunteers ready to help however they can."

To avoid any legal problems concerning ownership of the property, Valdez reportedly spoke with the owner's last local relative, Betty Joe Franco, and gained her blessing to have community volunteers take down what remains of the structure and clean up the surrounding area.

"We have been talking about this for months," he said. "I want to make sure we get something done before we are faced with an injured child because we didn't take action."

According to Valdez, while the project could take some time and effort, it may not be necessary to close the road to traffic during the cleanup. However, city police have been notified should the need arise.

"Jeff Green from ECDC has agreed to donate his time and the use of ECDC's track-hoe to help with the demolition as they will also be helping with hauling the garbage," explained Valdez.

Per the council member's recommendation, city officials agreed to pay for food and beverages for those who show up to assist with the demolition and clean up.

A firm date for the project has not been set, pending notification from ECDC's Green concerning a date when both he and the company's track-hoe will be available.






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