North Texas

Neighbors Beg City of Hurst to Condemn Fire-Damaged Home

More than a year after the house across the street nearly burned to the ground on a cold December night, people living on Barber Street in Hurst say it's time for the charred remains to go.

Doris Dodson was one of several neighbors who braved the cold to watch firefighters battle the flames.

"It seems like every time they knocked it down, it would flare back up," Dodson said.

Dodson remembers people coming and going in the days to follow, taking care of the insurance claim and loading anything that could be salvaged. Then the home was boarded and left to sit for the next 12 months.

"It's frustrating. It's sickening. I mean, I don't know what effect this is having on my property value, never-mind all of my neighbors'," Dodson said.

She and others have called the city multiple times to see what can be done.

Next door to the nuisance home, Ryan Camelin called the city again Thursday when his family was greeted by a 30-pound raccoon

"We've had squatters living in the shed. We've had animals, and we've had debris blowing off of it into our yard, so we're having to clean it up," Camelin said.

When NBC 5 reached out to the city Thursday, Hurst City Manager Clay Caruthers said the city rarely sees homes in this situation. Caruthers says state law requires cities to wait at least 90 days before moving forward with a condemnation on a nuisance property.

He says the city had first hoped to work with the owner to bring the home back to a livable standard or tear it down without condemning it. Since nothing has been done after multiple attempts, Caruthers says they'll move forward with the condemnation process next week. At that point, the owner has six months to bring the house back to an acceptable standard.

Back on Barber Street, neighbors just want to see it taken care of, no matter what it takes.

"I think they need to literally scrape the ground," Dodson said.

In the meantime, neighbors will work with the City of Hurst Animal Services to make their neighborhood safer.

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