City of Durham condemns burned-out house after CBS 17 investigation

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Code enforcement officials with the City of Durham have condemned a home that burned down two years ago after CBS 17 brought the state of the house to their attention.

A fire broke out at 227 Bandock Dr. in August of 2017. The family living there was forced out, but the half-burned home is still sitting just as it was the day after the fire.

Neighbor Sue Harris brought her concerns about the home being a public safety hazard to CBS 17 earlier this month.

“It’s very sad. This was somebody’s home at one time and for two years it’s been vacant and it’s just been falling down more and more and more,” Harris said. “I just think besides being an eyesore, I also think it’s dangerous. It’s wide open like this and kids can go in, animals can go in.”

Public records reveal the home was sold shortly after the fire to a family living in Raleigh. CBS 17’s Susanna Black went by the residence listed but never got an answer as to why the home was left in disrepair.

The home is in Durham County, but is one mile from the City of Durham, making it within the city’s code-enforcement jurisdiction.

However, it’s not an area officials would check. They would only go there if a report was filed, which they say didn’t happen in this case.

Faith Gardner, Assistant Director and Housing Code Administrator for the City of Durham, said her team immediately opened an investigation into the home once it was brought to her attention. An investigator condemned the home after finding severe structural damage, then issued a notice to the homeowner giving them 10 days to repair or demolish the home.

If no action is taken within 10 days, another notice will be issued giving 60 days. If the home is still in ruin at the end of that time period, the city will hire a third party to have the building demolished. The city would foot the bill but would place a lien on the property for the amount of the bill.

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