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Run-down home set for demolition

Animals, vagrants seen going in and out of fire-damaged property in Weathersfield

The severely fire-damaged home at 2308 South Bellwood Ave. in Weathersfield was recently approved for demolition by township trustees. The home has sat vacant for months after the fire and is now home to trash, animals and vagrants who come and go. Neighbors are thrilled the home is coming down.

WEATHERSFIELD — Neighbors on South Bellwood Avenue will not have to look at a run-down and fire-damaged house for much longer.

Weathersfield Township trustees unanimously approved the home’s demolition.

A December house fire made the home uninhabitable, and 2308 S. Bellwood Ave. has been vacant for months. This created an eyesore for the neighborhood, and a place where animals and vagrants have called home, neighbors say.

One neighbor, Mary Rader, said she reported people entering the home to police.

“People go in it sometimes, there’s all sorts of trash coming out of that property. So I’m happy that it will be gone,” Rader said.

Prior to last week’s approval, trustees adopted a resolution in May that allows the township to demolish nuisance properties.

Township Administrator David Rouan said a few more steps are needed to be taken before demolition “and then we will get bids from some companies.”

He anticipates the house will come down in the next month or two.

Rader, however, said she was surprised the home already hasn’t been taken down due to the animals, vagrants and trash.

“It’s really an eyesore. I would have thought it would have been taken down sooner,” Rader said.

THE PROCESS

Rouan said because the home was damaged in a fire, a different process other than having the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership step in and administer the demolition is needed. He said the township is responsible for the demolition, and it’s not very often Weathersfield handles such cases.

“The homes that are problematic, the TNP takes care of it. They’ve demolished many homes in our community over the years,” he said.

The fire was Dec. 28, 2020, and started in the garage, according to a fire report.

Rouan added because the home is damaged beyond repair, specific statutes are in place. The cost of the demolition won’t come from township funds because the homeowner’s insurance company will cover the cost.

He also explained if there are any leftover funds from the insurance company, that money is turned over to the property owner, David M. Zimmerschied, according to the Trumbull County Auditor’s website.

In the case of the Bellwood Avenue home, Rouan said the township has received complaints, mostly from concerned neighbors.

“Everyone is patient and is aware of the issue and how the process works,” Rouan said. “It will be nice to get that home removed finally.”

Rouan said the home was a rental property. He said the owner has not participated in any proceedings regarding the home.

“They have the option, of course, to take care of it on their own, but they have not done that,” Rouan said. “The owner did not live there and has been nonresponsive. We would rather them be involved and take care of it, but for whatever reason they have chosen not to do that.”

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