BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Charles Chenier, 74, has lived in his home for 45 years. He says it’s devastating to watch a tree from another property ruin his family’s home.
“I know something is going to happen sooner or later because the concrete is cracking and this tree must weigh tons and tons,” said Chenier.
Chenier says he started reaching out to the mayor’s office in early 2018 to find the owner of the of the vacant property. However, Chenier says the city was not able to confirm if the property belonged to him or to the city.
“If they want me to have it, I would love to have it, but it’s not mine, and it’s theirs. Why they can’t find out who the property is for, I don’t understand,” said Chenier.
We used an online map from the East Baton Rouge Parish’s Tax Assessor’s Office, which stores property information, so see who owns the property. According to the map, Chenier owns the property, but he says he never paid taxes or received a deed for the land. Chenier says he hopes the matter is resolved soon.
“We need to have something done soon before it hurts somebody,” said Chenier.
The mayor’s office says they have requested information for the property in question.
After this report aired, the city-parish confirmed the property in question belongs to them and removed the tree. Since airing Chenier’s story, WAFB received multiple calls from viewers about trees from neighboring properties damaging their homes. The 9News Alert Team spoke with Fourrier Insurance Agency about who takes responsibility in these cases.
“If it’s an act of God with a perfectly healthy tree, your insurance policy would cover it, but if it’s a rotten tree, then your neighbor would be liable because they are negligent in not maintaining their property,” said Andre Fourrier, owner.
Fourrier says insurance companies refer to damage caused by natural disasters as “acts of God.”