After Jan. Fire, Philly Residents Still Concerned Over Home

After Jan. Fire, Philly Residents Still Concerned Over Safety Of Burned Out Home

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The charred ruins of a home at 2815 Normandy are still seen after a January fire. The charred ruins of a home at 2815 Normandy are still seen after a January fire.
PHILADELPHIA -

FOX 29 is working to get results for residents of a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood who say an eyesore home has become even more dangerous since a January fire.

The 2800 block of Normandy Drive in the city's Normandy section is home to lots of families with young children.

And that makes the charred ruins at 2815 Normandy an accident waiting to happen.

"I was a small kid once myself, and you're curious," says John Wisniewski, president of the Normandy Civic Association to FOX 29's Bruce Gordon. "You know, you want to see what happened."

"What happened" was a January 24 fire that gutted the house.

City records show the owner as Jorge Oyola, Jr. FOX 29 could not find a current local address or phone number for Oyola.

The home had been vacant for many months at the time of the fire, and had become a magnet for curious kids, so the fire came as no surprise.

But nearly two months after the flames were extinguished, the mess left behind—broken glass, melted siding and nails everywhere—is exactly as it was.

"No boards. Not even a fence around it, to keep people away," says Lisa ripper, a mother of three who lives just down the block. "It's horrible."

Ripper says 2815 Normandy is actually in worse shape since the fire.

"Kids have (sprayed) graffiti on the side of it. Every time you go by, there's siding that has come down or there's stuff on the lawn."

Gordon called the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections to see what could be done to safeguard the property while the owner is located.

An L & I spokeswoman says the city considers the home "imminently dangerous" and plans to demolish the gutted structure by April 30.

But because it's not considered dangerous in the sense that it could collapse onto another building—like a row house— the home will not be sealed up or fenced off until it's knocked down.

Until then, neighbors will be forced to hold their breath, hoping nobody gets hurt wandering inside.

"Our concerns," say Wisniewski, "are that people will venture in-- young kids-- just to see what it looks like, and something happening once they're inside."

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