Blighted home in Wilkes-Barre demolished

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A blighted property sits on the corner of Race and Walnut Streets in Wilkes-Barre.

Mayor George Brown says this property is just one of many that pose a danger that he’s trying to remove from the city. The abandoned building came down Monday.

When Brown took office in January, he put together the Wilkes-Barre Citizen Blight Committee to clean up the city.

“This is our third project that we’re tearing down,” Mayor Brown said.

Mayor Brown says he also wants to make the city safer.

“This is a dangerous structure. We don’t want people going in there. It was half burned out,” Mayor Brown said.

The home on the corner of Race and Walnut Streets has been an eyesore for over a year. It caught fire in August 2019.

“It’s been a year now. Last August it was set on fire. It blazed from about 5:30 that evening until 3:30 in the morning. It flooded my house and from there on it’s just been downhill,” Lamont Diggs, from Wilkes-Barre, said.

The neighborhood is now thankful it’s finally coming down.

“He’s taking care of the city, someone’s finally taking a look at the city. They didn’t leave it here long. I just wish they would have taken it now before I moved… Had to move,” Diggs said.

Diggs is also part of the blight committee. He says there’s plenty of properties to be tended to.

“There’s a couple houses back here they are all blighted and need to come down as well,” Diggs said.

The committee also recently tore down the old silk mill on South Franklin Street, which they are now beginning to clean up.

“And we have another property on Westminster Street, an old property that’s not inhabitable. So we’re going to tear that also,” says Mayor Brown.

“They’ve been here. They’ve been poking around and it’s good to see the city is taking an active role,” Diggs said.

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