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Neighbors upset about demolition job on abandoned property

SOUTH BEND, Ind -- Neighbors have complained about an unsafe home on South Jackson Street in South Bend for years. The city recently tore the home down, but a garage on the property is still standing.

At the corner of South Jackson and Ford streets in South Bend is a lot that residents say should just be fresh dirt.

Instead there's a detached garage and part of a fence.

"I don't understand why they can't completely do the job," said Sarah Florkowski.

Florkowski lives 2 blocks away from the abandoned home.

"It was horrible. It was in very bad shape. Constantly being broken into, people coming in and out of there at times," said Florkowski.

She was thrilled to see the abandoned home on the city's demolition list.

But after the demolition trucks left, the garage was still standing.

"Why just the house? Why not the garage and why not these pieces of fence and that?" Florkowski.

We contacted the city and found out there are legal issues.

The city doesn't own the property, but the city was able to order demolition because the house was deemed unsafe, following the guidelines of the Indiana Unsafe Building Act.

Since the city doesn't own the property, it cannot tear the garage down because it is not unsafe.

Although it is still an eyesore, there are few options left.

"That garage is going to be broken into. It's going to be covered with graffiti. God knows who's going to be going in and out of there," said Florkowski.

The city's assistant attorney says even if the city doesn't own a property, the Indiana Unsafe Build Act allows the city to tear down unsafe buildings to protect the public.


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