Abandoned Building Collapses In West Philadelphia - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Abandoned Building Collapses In West Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA -

After complaining about the eyesore next door, Travis Hobson got a letter in the mail from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. It told him that on August 8th, 3623 Fairmount Avenue was going to be demolished. It got demolished alright, but not by the city.

"I was sitting in my car when it collapsed. If I would have gone up the steps, I would have been hurt," says Travis Hobson.

The house collapsed on the very day demolition was supposed to start. A remaining wall was deemed so dangerous that 10 apartments of a group home for the disabled next door were evacuated.

Unfortunately, falling houses are nothing new around here. The very same thing happened to Cheryl Watson in 2007. The house next door to her's collapsed, damaging her property.

"They were supposed to come. Never came. And the building fell down," she recalls.

"They are literally falling down around us," says Odessa Mitchell.

Some in the neighborhood wonder which rotting house. Which of the city's estimated 40,000 abandoned properties may be next.

"I know this house is going to be next to fall. I hope they tear it down before it does," says Mitchell.

Now demo crews dismantle yet another abandoned house. Neighbors are seeing their community crumbling brick by brick.

"I see they building up all these new homes around here and not doing anything about the ones that are falling down and that's pretty sad," says Hobson.

Emergency demolition crews have been out on the 3600 block of Fairmount avenue all night. They've brought down the rest of this abandoned house that collapsed late this afternoon. In fact, the remaining wall that crews deemed dangerous came down by itself, almost injuring a worker. 

L & I couldn't tell me why demo work didn't start on the house immediately. And we've learned the homeowner has a list of code violations dating back years.

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