POTTSTOWN — Sunday was far from a day of rest for area firefighters after two fires broke out, gutting two homes and damaging another.
The first fire occurred around 7 a.m. in a twin home building in Union Alley at the 300 block of Evans Street.
According to Pottstown Fire Chief Richard Lengel, the fire was sparked by someone cooking on a stove. He said the building was a loss.
No one was injured but 16 people were displaced by the blaze.
Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130303/NEWS01/130309854/pottstown-2-fires-displace-at-least-3-families-19-people#full_story
This is a fire that didn’t have to happen. The nearby homeowners had reached out for help over a year ago. The tenants were out-of-control and the houses a mess. We turned the properties into the borough, 349 was section 8 and it was turned in to MCVH, we contacted the owner of 347 Union, Kevin Rogers of Douglassville, (who never returned our calls). There are hundreds of these situations throughout the core neighborhoods. If there will be no intervention can we assume that letting this neighborhood burn down could be the objective of the authorities?? Something’s got to give.
Luckily, no one was harmed but what is the legal liabilities for govt. agencies that refuse to address the problems, once they are made aware that there are problems? How about the slumlords themselves and their insurance companies? If the insurance companies would inspect their insured properties on an annual basis and refuse coverage to dangerous structures that would further help clean up this neighborhood.
The insurance companies should be inspecting these units regularly, in cases like this, and they should be giving the owner an ultimatum to either fix up their property or be dropped from coverage. Thankfully nobody was killed.
The powers that be get an “F” for allowing this situation to occur.
And yes, one wonders exactly what the objective is. Allowing the neighborhood to all burn down isn’t much of a stretch given the indifference by the borough and the county. Maybe a “0” would be a better grade!