Demolition Day for Jenkins Township property

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JENKINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Neighbors in Jenkins Township have waited at least 10 years for this day. A dilapidated property on Mitchell Street is finally coming down.

Our I-Team first told you about the problem property in Jenkins Township last month.

The house was on the verge of collapse before the contractor even started. As the walls fell down neighbors were shocked to see what was inside.

“Everybody in the neighborhood is very anxious to see it come down. I’m happy, I’m happy to see it come down. As the guy is tearing it down, I’m worried about his safety because this is bad. This is really bad,” neighbor Bob Davidson said.

Davidson says he was thrilled to see an excavator at the dilapidated property across from his house in Jenkins Township.

19 Mitchell Street was abandoned about 10 years ago. The house sat untouched ever since, harboring racoons and feral cats.

An eyesore and a hazard, the property was condemned in June 2019.

Last month, Jenkins Township officials told residents and the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick they were trying to work with the property owners to resolve the situation.

A couple weeks ago, officials posted a notice dated April 20 on the property, advising the owners it would be torn down unless they fixed it up or tore it down themselves.

“It should have been done years ago,” neighbor Henry Czarnecki said.

“The township and everybody finally decided to do something about it and as you can clearly see, this thing really needed something done,” Davidson said.

The long-awaited demolition is turning out to be a much larger project than expected.

“The contractor was saying it’s the worst they’ve ever seen,” Czarnecki said.

Neighbors say as soon as the contractor pulled off the front door, the top floor caved in. As soon as the excavator touched the back wall, it started to cave, revealing what could only be the result of years of hoarding.

“I just can’t believe that there could be that much stuff in the home,” Davidson said.

The house is in such bad shape, the contractor will have to be careful to make sure it doesn’t fall on to neighboring properties.

“He stopped because he wants to get this cleaned out, so if it does collapse again it’s going to have somewhere to fall,” Davidson said.

The project will continue this week. The township will bill the property owner for the demolition.

Neighbors say the man who originally owned the house died a long time ago, so it could go to his next of kin.

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