Vacant house fire damages neighboring structures

Posted at 6:30 AM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 06:30:31-04

A Buffalo house is now just a pile of rubble after fire ripped through it early Friday morning.

What concerns neighbors on Seneca Street is that they say they tried to warn the city about the risk it posed.

Susan Elliott and Dennis Banks own homes on either side of the house that caught fire. They say the house has sat vacant for years, catching fire previously when a squatter was living inside of it.

"I think the councilman should get more on the ball with this at least get these houses boarded up," said Elliott.

The neighbors say they have tried for years to get the city and their councilman Richard Fontana to do something about the vacant house.

"I was called to the home, I don't know about a year and a half ago," said Fontana. "Some residents were living in the house calling it a squalor house."

Fontana said after a dispute with the landlord, the tenants moved out and the house became vacant. The councilman said as far as getting rid of the vacant homes across Buffalo, there is only so much they can do. Fontana says there is a process, which involves putting the houses up for sale before action can be taken.

Fontana says if you're concerned about a vacant property in your neighborhood to contact police and your council representative.

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