Burned-out, condemned homes to be demolished soon - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Burned-out, condemned homes to be demolished soon

By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - They're one of Birmingham's biggest problems when it comes to the city's appearance and now the city council is hoping to take out almost 100 abandoned or burned-out homes in the next few weeks.

Neighbors living near some of these homes say when they're left sitting in the middle of neighborhoods, they don't stay empty for long.

"Rats and stuff, dogs, cats, I see all of them in there," said LaWayne McCormick, who lives next door to one of the houses on the demolition list. "Then it's junky, so something needs to be built on there, really."

McCormick and his two-year old son have watched the rats run out of this abandoned shell of a house and across their yard and he's sick of it.

"Yes, I was thinking about that just the other day," McCormick said. "I was thinking about asking them if they want me to tear them down. They need a lot of work, all of them, that one too, matter of fact."

McCormick won't have to pick up his own hammer for the house next door, it's one of 86 the city council just approved for demolition in the next couple of weeks. And while that will help, just across the street sits another empty house that isn't on this latest demolition list.

In fact, at every abandoned house on the list that FOX6 News stopped by, we found at least one other empty property within a stone's throw.

That illustrates the size and scope of the city's challenge. but neighbors on the southwest side are just happy to see something, anything being done.

"That's great news because that will cut down on a lot of the crime," said Quincy Williams, who lives a few doors down from an abandoned home. "A lot of dogs hanging around, just cut down on a lot of different things going on around the neighborhood. A lot of drugs, a lot of activities, a lot of things, make it safer for the community, safer for the kids."

To find out if a burned home in your neighborhood is on the list to be demolished, click here.

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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