Abandoned house’s garage collapses in fire

By Tyler Vincent

The garage of an abandoned house at 1232 State St., known among neighbors as the “infamous house,” caught fire and subsequently collapsed about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Votaw, seven fire trucks and three command vehicles were present at the scene.

Votaw said investigators started their investigation last night, adding that the department had not had any cause in regards to the fire.

A report is expected to be released today.

According to residents, the abandoned property was used as a hang-out spot for teenagers who inhabited the garage, the house and the treehouse located in the back of the property, and supposedly by the homeless who have reportedly attempted to break into the house.

Jason Hodges,17, said he had hung out in the garage and that the contents of the garage included electrical wire, numerous cinder blocks and a Ford truck camper top.

The abandoned house has attracted attention recently as area neighbors and officials have condemned it as being the home of alleged drug and gang activity. Area residents have asked the city to tear down the property, with some even claiming they would take it upon themselves to tear down the property if the city failed to do so.

“I just find it amazing that with all the powers of government that they can’t have any control over an abandoned house,” said Mike Page, 1309 State St. “I’m in favor of having it donated to Hope Haven, and I would help them rebuild the house.”