CLEVELAND — Long after the fire was extinguished, a home gutted by arson in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood continues to create a hazard for those living near it as jagged and charred debris, broken glass and exposed nails litter the property in the 5000-block of Pershing.
In the early morning hours of June 25, the home was engulfed in flames, which poured out of the doors and windows on both stories. After corralling the blaze, Cleveland firefighters inside the home sank through the floor as they were extinguishing hot spots. Luckily, no one was injured.
However, in the month since the fire, which was later determined to be arson, the property appears to have sat virtually untouched.
“I can’t believe that [home] is still standing. I walk by it every day and I can’t believe it’s still here,” said neighbor Cheryl Brewster. “There’s kids staying in the neighborhood and they can get inside and fall though the floor. The house is demolished. [You can’t] help it. I thought by now they would at least have it torn down or put some boards on the wall.”
A pile of fire-singed siding and debris still extends over the sidewalk and into the street. Shards of glass and sharp-pointed nails present hazards at every turn. The property also remains completely exposed because the doors and widows were destroyed in the fire.
“It’s been like for the past month,” said neighbor Antoine Spencer. “We just have a festival. They were having bike rides and people were getting flat tires and everything over here.”
According to Cuyahoga County property records, the home is owned by a limited liability company, “7602 Clark Ave LLC.” In 2016, the LLC was re-named to Seed Estates LLC. Representatives of neither company could be reached for comment. Although the fire appears to have been intentionally set, the property owner appears to have made little progress in getting the property sealed and secured.
“This neighborhood isn’t the best but [the home] doesn’t make it any better,” Brewster said.
Hours after News 5 inquired about the property with a spokesperson from Mayor Frank Jackson's office, it appears city crews installed caution tape around the perimeter of the property. News 5 also requested comment from the mayor's spokesperson but had not received it as of press time.