Thursday, June 1, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Tree
Every year, people threaten to leave florida after a powerful hurricane. But in wilton manors, one man actually did follow through. The problem: his abandoned house has attracted some unwanted guests. Now, the neighbors say That's Just Wrong.
WSVN--It's hard not to notice a fully grown ficus tree in South Florida.
This one in Wilton Manors was so big, it could be seen in arial pictures covering nearly a whole block.
But look now... A year later that once tremendous tree is missing.
Suellen Harper: "Pretty much crushed my house crushed my daughters room and now it's been left there."
The tree actually belonged to Suellen Harper's next door neighbor.
It nearly crushed her house after Hurricane Wilma.
But you won't see the neighbor cleaning up the debris.
He was so distraught, he left town soon after the storm passed.
Suellen Harper: "What do I have to deal with. I have two kids."
Now Suellen's repaired her roof, but she wasn't expecting who would be moving in next door.
With her neighbor's house abandoned, homeless people have turned it into a makeshift shelter.
Suellen Harper: "I have one girl in this room. I have one boy in that room. They tried to break in... they pried it open. The cops have been here three times. Three times."
While the two legged creatures are scary... the four legged ones are worse.
Suellen Harper: "I've had raccoons, I've had possums. I've had everything attack my house."
And again, she's made dozens of calls.
Suellen Harper: "Animal control has told me there's nothing they can do other than deal with dogs and cats. Code enforcement has told me there's nothing they can do "
But there was something she could do.
She called 7 News to say That's Just Wrong.
When we contacted the city of Wilton Manors, it went out and boarded up the house.
We were also told it has started to fine the homeowner $250 a day.
Wayne Thies: "They have not come into compliance and that fine is running against them."
But Suellen may not have to wait long to see a difference.
Wayne Thies: "We understand there is a purchase and sale agreement on the house, and they've agreed to come in and immediately seven days after closing to demo the entire site and clean everything up."
And the timing couldn't be better.
With hurricane season here, suellen's learned protecting her family requires relying on neighbors.
Wayne Thies: "If they don't do what they say they will do, we'll go in and take care of it."
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