Crews remove neighborhood eyesore belonging to jailed man

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It took one neighborhood years to get a court order to tear down an eyesore house in the Highland Creek neighborhood.

With that out of the way, it took workers just 20 minutes to rip apart the two story house. The home is owned by a man accused of possessing child pornography.

Once the heavy equipment was fired up, 428 Stoney Creek never stood a chance.

Exactly 22 minutes later, it was over; much to the delight of neighbors who had been working on getting the house torn down, literally, for years now.

"We know how long it takes now. I mean you know what it takes to get written complaints done and court orders. And it helps to get a written complaint and court order when the resident is incarcerated," said Pat O'Neill.

David Burke lived in the house. He is now in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison facing child pornography charges. His home was heavily damaged in Hurricane Gustav and was never repaired.

His neighbors say he was a known hoarder. Before the demolition, crews removed dozens of boxes they found stacked around the inside of the home.

"I feel conflicting emotions. I think I feel that I'm happy that it's being taken down, happy for the neighborhood. Also I'm sad as a community we couldn't do more to help Burke," said Chris Gearhart.

District Court Judge Timothy Kelley signed the order to destroy the house after an urging by the City Attorney's Office. As neighbors watched, they could not help but think the demolition will improve the value of the rest of the subdivision.

"As property owners we can't live next to anything like this if we want to make any kind of transaction," said Gearhart.

Department of Public Works officials say they should have the lot cleared by Tuesday.

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