NEWPORT - At least a couple people living in a Carteret County neighborhood are wondering what it will take to get a charred home demolished.
A home that burned down on October 29, 2013, has been sitting vacant for nearly six months and some neighbors are wondering if anything will be done about it. The mobile home at 220 East Southwinds Dr. caught ignited because of a combination of cigarettes and oxygen tanks according to Carteret County's fire marshal.
Two people were at the home at the time of the fire, but were not hurt. The two did not own the home.
"It's been like this since the last week in October," said Jonette Heckman, who lives next door. "Nobody would want that beside their house through Thanksgiving and Christmas."
Heckman says the house has been vandalized multiple times. she said siding was torn off and insulation has been blowing into her yard.
Since the fire, Carteret County's planning and inspection division has been unable to reach the home's owner. Two condemnation hearings were held, one on November 13, and the other on January 15. The owner did not show up to either hearing.
However, the county manager admits letters to the owner have been returned.
February 5th, the home was condemned. The owner had 60 days from that date to demolish the home. The deadline is April 6. If the issue is not resolved by then, the owner will face a misdemeanor charge and the county can have the home demolished at the owner's expense.
One neighbor said the owner is a 78 year old woman who cannot physically remove the destroyed house or pay for its demolition. The owner lives in Clayton, NC but was unreachable for this story.