UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (June 23, 2023) – City officials are trying to figure out how to recoup the cost of tearing down the house that went up in flames Tuesday evening.
Fire Chief Judd Edwards called in an excavator that night to push the front of the house at 313 North Romig Street inward and prevent it from collapsing into the road. The rest came down the following day at the city’s expense to eliminate a potential safety hazard. Councilman and mayoral candidate Jim Zucal was grateful no one was injured in the blaze but didn’t think the city should get stuck footing the bill.
“We shouldn’t take the hit. That should be recorded and passed on to the homeowner’s insurance company. If they don’t have insurance, it should be taken to court but we need to be reimbursed for that.”
Service Director Belle Everett doubts the owner had insurance but says they may be able to put a lien on the property.
“No one would be able to build on that legally. It is very small. It would probably make good sense to negotiate with surrounding neighbors to have it parceled to get put back into the tax system.”
The owner wasn’t around when the fire broke out and others staying there escaped unharmed.
All that remained of the house Thursday was a charred pile of debris that Everett said would be going to a landfill once it cooled.