Woman Upset that City of Baton Rouge Bulldozed Her Home - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Woman Upset that City of Baton Rouge Bulldozed Her Home

A Baton Rouge woman says she was hoping to rebuild her dead daughter's house that caught fire last summer. She had hopes her grandson could eventually live there. However, she came home one day to find the house bulldozed. The city of Baton Rouge did the bulldozing, but says before the ball dropped, it gave plenty of notice.

In the spot where a house that was a work in progress once stood, there is now only a pile of wood and rubble. Now, the owner, Dorothy Davis says it's just a pile of junk. She says, "My son had a friend pass by there and he came over and said, ‘You know they bulldozed your house...knocked it down.'" The Department of Public Works admits it tore the house down, but not before giving Davis a chance to save it. Johnny Wallace with DPW says, "I am the last resort, go out and tear the house down."

Davis says the house caught fire last summer, and only the charred remains were left standing. Public works says neighbors started complaining, so a letter was sent on August 10th telling the owner to fix it or it would be torn down. Wallace says, "Fix house up to be livable to not have broken windows, drug infested areas."

Davis says she did that. She bought doors and windows, but when they started installing new fixtures, someone stole them. So, they started working on the back of the house first. DPW inspected the property again, after they sent Davis a letter, and say not enough work had been done to stop the demolition. They sent another final notice saying the house was coming down. Davis asks, "Why would I buy all that if I wasn't fixing it?"

Once DPW removes the rubble that remains, they say a lien will be placed on the property, and Davis can do with it what she wants. Davis says she wants the city to repay her for all the lumber she bought and can't use. City workers say they follow the same procedure in these cases:  notify the homeowner, give them six months to start fixing the home, and if not enough work has been done after that, they tear it down.

Reporter:  Tyana Williams, WAFB 9NEWS

 

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