What happens after a housefire?

It can take months or years for the house to be torn down or rebuilt.
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 8:49 PM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - When a family home caught fire back in February, the neighborhood was devastated, but eight months later, the wreckage still stands, and neighbors say it’s starting to smell.

“When it wet outside and would get warm outside, you’d get the must, burned out smell in the neighborhood,” says Sylvania resident Brad Johnson.

Johnson says that flames tore through his neighbor’s home on February 10. It’s been sitting ever since.

“Sylvania Police have been called out a few times for trespassing. It’s just becoming an eyesore,” he says.

Johnson is the only neighbor who spoke on camera, but two people reached out to 13abc asking for help. It was not the first call they made.

“We’ve called the City of Sylvania several times and emails, and nothing ever gets returned, or they just say they’ll look into it and come back,” says Johnson.

Neighbors say the family has been trying to get some help with leveling the home. But the neighborhood is running out of patience.

“I didn’t want to bug the family, because I know it’s gotta be hard on them, being out of a home, but I thought that the city would at least respond to its citizens,” says Johnson.

The city’s zoning administrator says that the city is aware of the property, and that the homeowners are going through an insurance process. It can take months or even years before the house is rebuilt or torn down. There’s not much that can be done to speed up the process. If a fire or foreclosure happens, neighbors should be prepared for a long wait before the banks, courts, and insurance companies sort everything out.

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