Neighbors want action after tenant arson

Neighbors want action after tenant arson
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:55 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A local business is working to revitalize the Old North End, but it’s spent the last few years plagued with its very own problem right next door.

“It’s always been vacant and housing rodents and sometimes randomly locked up pit bulls,” says Alexander Horton, owner of Climb Toledo. He opened the business on Maple Street in January and has lived in the neighborhood for years.

“I lived upstairs for a few years. That side window was my bedroom window. Got the beautiful view of this property,” he says.

The next-door house has gotten worse. In October, someone set the house next door on fire, damaging Horton’s gym.

“In all, three expensive doors and five expensive windows,” Horton said.

Toledo Police charged an evicted tenant with arson, but catching the person responsible doesn’t stop the smell.

“Especially when it rains it stirs up the smell of burnt feces. There’s a whole cooler in the backyard that’s just full of feces,” says Horton.

Horton says the building has been a nuisance since long before the fire. The property has been on the city’s radar for demolition.

In 2019, the city took the owner to court, but the owner made improvements to the property and was allowed to rent it out again. Now, the tax bills are sent to a property management company that appears to be out of business.

So what’s next?

The city is once again exploring the idea of demolition, but the court process could take months.

“We’re trying to bring life to this building and bring business back into the neighborhood, and this has been a problem the whole time,” says Horton.

Climb Toledo is hoping the court process can resolve quickly so the lot can be revitalized as a parking lot for members.

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