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- EYESORE 4/29/2013: Dueling Oaks Drive
EYESORE 4/29/2013: Dueling Oaks Drive
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:51 PM CDT
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Nearly two years after it caught fire, a burned up house is still sitting empty in Escambia County.
Neighbors say it's an eyesore that's dragging down property values, while the home's owner says he's been locked in a dispute with his insurance company.
Neighbors say this is a beautiful community that they take a lot of pride in, and they can't understand why this home has been in this condition for so long.
John Schultz, Neighbor: "We heard a pop. We didn't think nothing' of it and then we heard another pop."
John Schultz, who lives next door, says the fire broke out late at night when he was getting ready for bed.
John Schultz, Neighbor: "I opened up the garage door and the whole thing was just blazing away."
Schultz and other neighbors called 911.
The home's owner, John Butsch, an airline pilot, was not home at the time.
Hazel Ard, Neighbor: "It's a sore spot in our neighborhood and it devalues our property."
Since the fire, neighbors say the home on Dueling Oaks Drive, has been a nuisance.
John Schultz, Neighbor: "Pretty nasty, yeah, I mean it's dangerous. I've chased kids out of there before."
Schultz says he took it upon himself to board up some of the windows.
John Schultz, Neighbor: "There's all kinds of varmints and stuff in there and they just put a tarp over the pool so that helped a little bit, you know. It was really nasty it was like a swamp in there."
Butsch's attorney says the cause of the fire was electrical.
He says Butsch filed a claim with his insurance company but it was denied.
Butsch then sued the company and the case has been in litigation ever since.
Rae Forbes, Neighbor: "It's an eyesore."
Rae Forbes who lives just down the street, is losing patience.
Rae Forbes, Neighbor: "The bushes are getting' overgrown and the house itself, it just looks terrible, for a nice neighborhood."
County authorities say they've been aware of the home's condition and that a daily fine has been issued.
They've been planning to demolish the property but recently decided to hold off for a few more months...So the property owner could have more time to resolve his dispute with his insurance company.
For neighbors, the demolition of the home can't come soon enough.
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