Danger zone: West Omaha home in disrepair

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 10:28 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A 6 News investigation has discovered a dangerous eyesore and it’s not where most are found. City inspectors say the condition of a West Omaha property near 188th and Fort Streets is shocking.

New homes and schools are cropping up not far from the property that 6 News reported to City of Omaha inspectors.

“This is a pretty rough place. This is pretty bad,” said Chief Housing Inspector Scott Lane.

The vacant house is wide open from the garage to the front door and it appears copper scavengers have visited often.

“Just the sheathing left -- all the wire stripped,” Lane said.

Copper salvaging isn’t neat, with insulation ripped from the ceiling and covering floors. Almost no metal has been left behind inside. The city posted a danger closed placard that is more than a warning.

“Police officers, when they arrive, it gives them the opportunity to arrest somebody that’s here unauthorized. If they’re not here working on the property or have a reason to be here working, then they are basically trespassing,” Lane explained.

Outside the property flips to suspected illegal dumping. Limbs squarely packed as if from a container and two refrigerators left abandoned. The doors are off to prevent trapping a child but there’s another kind of hazard.

COVID-19 or not, an abandoned refrigerator with rotten food has you wanting to wear a mask because the smell is awful.

Two outbuildings on the acreage are also in open and messy condition.

“It’s a very dangerous place. There are boards with nails sticking up. Somebody can get injured, we definitely need to get a hold of this owner,” Lane said.

The driveway hasn’t been chained-off and before the placard was placed Tuesday, the only sign discouraging vandals was a no hunting sign, though it appears copper thieves may have already done plenty of that.

White Lotus Group owns the property and we notified management about the city posting a danger sign. The company’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Morrissey says he’ll make sure protection is installed so a kid doesn’t get hurt out there.

He says the buildings will be demolished and property cleared in a couple of weeks to make way for a housing development.

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