Fire spreads from abandoned home

Posted at 11:36 AM, Jan 30, 2016

A fire at an abandoned home spread to a neighboring house on Cleveland’s east side, on Parkwood Avenue, Friday morning.

Neighbors told they have reported abandoned homes to Ward 9 City Councilman Kevin Conwell several times, but many abandoned homes are still standing.

"It’s every other house; some streets you might have 5-6 houses,” said neighbor Anthony Anderson. "It’s nothing. You’ve just got to adapt to it."

Conwell said demolishing a house costs up to $10,000. The overwhelming number of homes forces him to prioritize problems.

"I categorize my houses from the worst to the least worst house that needs to be raised," said Conwell.

Conwell said prior to Friday’s fire the house that went up in flames was low on his priority list. Conwell said spending the annual allotment of more than $400,000 in grant money on demolishing abandoned homes doesn’t add up.

"We have senior citizens that when their water is turned off, or they need other services or they live in sheltered poverty, we have to use the money for that as well,” said Conwell.

Conwell said he has a list of 12 houses that he just handed over to be demolished.