Condemned property demolition put on hold by property owner

4 weeks ago WBRZ 0

BATON ROUGE – A condemned property is still in ruins, despite a woman’s efforts to demolish what’s left of the house.

Sharon Horton-Ray says the corner property at Robinson and Jefferson Streets in Baker used to be in her family until there was a fire in April 2017. The fire destroyed the house and it’s been deteriorating ever since. It was foreclosed soon after and has changed ownership hands multiple times.

Horton-Ray says she’s been trying to get the house torn down for months and called 2 On Your Side after she hadn’t had much luck.

“I’ve been constantly going back and forth speaking with multiple municipal representatives,” said Horton-Ray. “Everyone’s giving me different answers. The house is still standing and collapsing.”

Recently, Horton-Ray started fixing up the house next door. It’s another property that’s been in her family for decades. She says the fire-damaged property is a danger to her neighbors and a liability to damaging her rehabilitation project.

“To everyone that has to come to the end of this street or turn into this street or pass down here it’s an eyesore,” she said.

The lot is overgrown and some people have started using it as a dumping ground. There’s a school bus stop at the corner where children catch a ride to school. The property’s mortgage company says someone from out of state is in the process of selling the lot once again, this time to someone in Louisiana. It’s prolonged the demolition process for the City of Baker.

The condemned house is in the possession of a real estate company that’s out of state and it’s unclear as to who the property owner is. Mayor Darnell Waites says the lengthy demolition process is due to respecting the rights of the property owner. Monday, Waites gave the real estate company 72 hours to contact the property owner and if there is no response within that timeframe the City of Baker will demolish the property.