Vacant home forces others out of theirs

March 14, 2008 4:09:17 PM PDT
Problems with a vacant home in Norristown has forced the evacuation of the dwellings on either side and residents are crying foul.The Bagner Family has been forced out of their home. They spent the day packing up belongings and worried about their future.

"It's very difficult because we don't have anywhere to turn to after this. I have children. What are we supposed to do after Monday?" Bridget Bagner said.

"Besides prayer, that's all we have now; we're trying to get some assistance from state representatives and some of the political people in Montgomery County," Tracey Bagner said.

The Bagners and others say the problem stems from two dilapidated vacant homes. They've been abandoned for years.

Norristown borough hired an independent engineer who determined the homes were unsafe. The company recommended tearing the down, as well as other nearby row homes.

"The Red Cross is putting us up for three days in a hotel, but after that we're on our own," Michael Nelligan said. "[Our insurance company is] saying it's not covered because there's nothing structurally wrong with our house."

PECO crews spent the day tearing up the road and shutting off utilities. The Borough manager, Dave Forest, tells Action News the vacant homes and those near them are deemed unsafe. The vacant homes will be torn down. When is unclear. For now, the Bagners and others are left without a home.