Action Report: Falling Algiers house worries neighbors

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by Bill Capo / Action Reporter

wwltv.com

Posted on January 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 24 at 7:43 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- Shirley Drive in Algiers is a busy boulevard that leads directly to the entrance of the new Federal City.

But along the way, this is the sight drivers are treated to, a house so overgrown with vines it looks like it is part of the forest.

But that is not what frightens neighbors. The garage has collapsed. The roof of the house is starting to fail, and inside the ceilings have fallen, and there is serious termite damage. The cinder blocks in the rear of the house are falling off, and an entire section of the side wall is leaning against this tree.

"It's scary, because I just got mine elevated, and the only thing that is holding that house is the trees growing around it, and the vines and the bushes," said neighbor Charles Thomas.

Charles said the house has been abandoned and deteriorating for a decade. Snakes, rats and possums are some of the wildlife that neighbors say they have seen coming from the rotting structure.

But they have bigger fears.

"I'm afraid that house will come down towards my house, or fall on my house, or somebody come in there and throw something in there, and start it on fire, or something like that," said Thomas.

He said city crews have cleaned the overgrowth a couple of times, but that's not the help he called for.

"They give me a bunch of numbers to call. Call this number, call that number," he said. "Nothing happened. The house is still there."

Talk about dangerous. The garage is only half collapsed, and the neighbors worry it is an inviting place for kids to explore.

And then the house itself, it looks like I could actually pull it apart by hand. And yet, the back door is wide open. It's another invitation to an accident.

So before a tragedy happens here, I'm contacting the mayor's office, and the city's Department of Code Enforcement, asking them for an emergency demolition.

I'll let you know what happens.

 

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