Abandoned A Dozen Years Ago, Law Takes Action On House

The owner of an abandoned home ignored orders to clean it up so Ralston police and a city crew moved in.

The lock got picked while police were watching. “Alright, we're in." Ralston’s police chief got a warrant to get inside the house at 89th and Harrison where only a refrigerator and rocker remained.

A neighbor remembers when the owner moved out. “Twelve-and-a-half years ago." After numerous neighbors complained, the chief got the legal wheels moving to remove hazards on the outside. The dangerous stairs were torn down and under the deck was evidence of deterioration. The main concern for Ralston city officials was the deck. It was s unstable and there was evidence kids had been around.

The back window had been broken by a baseball which sat on the window sill for who knows how long. “We're trying to do what we can responsibly from the city's perspective so the neighbors don't have to deal with this any more than they have to,” said Ralston Police Chief Ron Murtaugh.

Jim Hrabik is one of the neighbors. “Critters and stuff wandering through the back yard, so yeah, it is a danger.”

The house on the inside was in good condition considering how long it’s been abandoned, but mold was developing and you could see where animal squatters tried to get in. “Holes in the chimney where an animal has come and gone, there's feces all around,” said Chief Murtaugh.

Ralston will continue to mow and put a lien on the property while looking at more legal options to get the house renovated and sold. “I just hope somebody gets it and enjoys the heck out of it,” said Hrabik.

The property owner lives in Oregon and has not responded to Ralston police or Fact Finders.

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