Citing ‘dangerous buildings’ code, aldermen hold public hearing on fire-damaged residence in Bland

Roxie Murphy

BLAND — The city of Bland held a public hearing Monday prior to their regular meeting regarding the proposed demolition of a dangerous building located at 404 W. St. Louis Avenue.

The property that was owned by the late Leona Hearn, 53, of Bland, caught fire in the evening hours of June 22, 2017.

Hearn’s body was later located in the front room. The fire was reported to the authorities by a neighbor, but the home was already a loss at the time of the fire department’s arrival.

The remains of the home is now in violation of the city’s dangerous buildings code, and the Feb. 12 public hearing was to give the public an opportunity to comment or claim rights to the property before the city begins the demolition process and assess tax liens. No one appeared at the public meeting, according to City Clerk Rachel Anderson.

Anderson said the cost of the demolition will be at the city’s expense, since the property was uncontested and the owner died in the fire. The amount to have the remains of the home demolished is unknown at this time. The final amount will be assessed to the property as a tax lien.