Neighbors want something done about burned out Oak Park home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Neighbors want something done about burned out Oak Park home

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By Andrea Isom
FOX 2 News Reporter


OAK PARK, Mich. -- "I saw bodies on the front lawn, people screaming," said a male witness.

Crying and shouting in sheer terror because a home in Oak Park was burning.  The fire and the fear have been unforgettable for those who saw what happened.

"It's just a scaring memory just coming back here and seeing the home destroyed," the witness explained.

Three people did not make it out alive.

"It's been like this for over a year now.  I mean, it just hurts to see it," he said.

Neighbors told us they have been begging and pleading with the homeowner to do something about it.  Yes, the home is boarded up, but they believe it's a shabby job.

"I'm sure there (are) animals living in the home.  Neighbors said that people have tried breaking into the home already because it's not properly secured," the witness told us.

By now, those who live nearby expected the property would have been fixed properly, telling us they're not used to living close to an eyesore and they don't want to start now.

The owner has been to court several times, but the outcome has not been promising because the place is still nowhere near pleasing to the eye.

"He's neglecting it, and he's putting people's lives in danger," the witness remarked.

We caught up with the representative of the company that owns the home on Northfield Boulevard.  He did not want to go on camera, but he did share this about the fire and everything that's taken place ever since.

"Without a question... it was a very horrible situation, and unfortunately from the legal perspective and other issues that have to be dealt with, we couldn't even start doing anything with the property, I want to say, until late April, early May.  We've engaged (an) architect.  We've already spent $1,250 to finalize the plans," he said.  "The bids will be out.  We hope to be able to get work started within very short order and put together a property that will improve the block greatly and the property values in Oak Park and keep on going.  We have no interest in being a slumlord or abandoning the property."

"I'm sorry that it's taken so long....  I haven't done anything intentionally.  Like I said, it was locked up for the first six months and then things take time.  Yes, sometimes the process moves a little slower.  Maybe I was a little bit slower than maybe I could've been, but I have no intention of walking from this property."

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