Neighbors concerned over fire damaged home

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A little more than six months after a fire destroyed a home in southwest Fort Wayne, neighbors are growing concerned because nothing has been done with what’s left of the house.

The house on Westcott Drive caught on fire late last September. Directly after the fire, county workers came and boarded up the house, but since then, the property has not been repaired. Neighbors are concerned because they said it is a safety issue and an unpleasant sight entering the neighborhood.

The president of the Westcott Ridge Neighborhood Association said her first priority was tending to the homeowner after the tragedy. She said she has been trying to work with the homeowner, but he said he hasn’t been contacted by the Association. The Association is regulated by a list of covenants designed by the developer that gives homeowners three months to start making repairs. If no progress is made in that time frame, the Association can involve the County. Neighborhood Code officials, who work closely with the Allen County Building Department, said they use an Indiana Code to decide if the house should be torn down or rebuilt. Normally, a homeowner is given six months under that code before a case is brought against the house.

Last week, the Allen County Building Department put up a sign condemning the property. The homeowner said that’s news to him. According to the homeowner, it has taken so long to fix the repairs because his insurance agency was waiting on the fire investigators to determine the cause. As of Tuesday evening, fire officials said they still don’t know what caused the fire. The homeowner said he is in final stages with the adjuster to get an accurate cost of repairs before he proceeds. He said he feels bad that the house has been sitting idle, but he has been working to remove the damage structure and rebuild. Indiana Michigan has also put a temporary power pole in the back of the property to restore power to the home for repairs.

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