Vacant home fires becoming big problem

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s becoming a familiar sight around Birmingham, vacant homes going up in flames. Residents in one neighborhood are frustrated and want the city to do something about all of those eyesores.

CBS42 showed you the scene, as several vacant homes in the Enon Ridge neighborhood went up in flames. That fire was close to Tuggle Elementary School, as well as, many occupied houses. Now, neighbors want something done with those empty houses. They say they are frustrated with how the city allows buildings to sit vacant for long periods of time.

The process to get rid of these abandoned houses is a pretty lengthy one. First, it begins with a citizen complaint, followed by a records search. Next, a 30 day notice is issued. If the property isn’t repaired, condemnation will eventually take place. But that’s not the end of the process. From there, another notice must be issued.

The property has to be inspected, and asbestos removed before the house can be taken down. This is a process that can take months, if not years to complete.

You can read the rules here: Condemnation Steps

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