Local and state fire officials are investigating as suspicious a fire in Clark County at an abandoned property that has received complaints from neighbors for years.
Firefighters from multiple departments responded Friday night to an unoccupied house at South Tecumseh and Hustead roads.
“On our arrival, we found a vehicle totally involved and the house had some fire set in it as well,” Hustead Fire Chief Larry Ridenour said.
One vehicle was destroyed and the house was gutted. The fire is suspicious, he said.
“We found a fire in the kitchen area of the house. This has been an abandoned house for a while,” Ridenour said.
The state fire marshal was on scene Monday because of the suspicious circumstance of the origin of the fire, Ridenour said.
Mad River Twp. trustees have received numerous complaints about the property in the 6000 block of South Tecumseh Road for years.
“We went to court over it. The property is an LLC and they say it’s in bankruptcy,” Mad River Twp. Trustee Joe Catanzano said.
Other entities have been involved to try and maintain it.
“We do put forward effort to make the residents clean up but if they have the desire and they withhold, then we have to go forward to try to do the properties ourselves with some kind of a lien,” Catanzano said.
Residents who live near the house didn’t want to be identified but told the Springfield News-Sun it’s an eyesore. One resident said he has mowed the lawn on the property numerous times but he can’t now because trees have grown unruly.
The property is owned by Diversified Solutions LLC, which is owned by Gerald Tackett. He declined to comment to the Springfield News-Sun but said he wasn’t aware of the complaints about the properties.
The township took him to court about a year and a half ago but it threw the case out, putting the township back to square one.
“We just have no teeth. So, the township has no teeth in the matter and I guess evidently the county has no structure either to do it,” Catanzano said.
That’s partly because the current owner won’t allow the township access to the properties, he said, and it’s also complicated by the pending bankruptcy cases.
“The last time we inquired and tried to do something about the property, our deputy informed us we were not to step onto the property,” Catanzano said.
Diversified Solutions LLC also owns a property on the 2800 block of Collier Road. Complaints have been made about this property, too.
The village of Enon also has had problems with Diversified Solutions LLC. The company also owns a home on Bobwhite Drive.
The Springfield News-Sun obtained copies of records for numerous violations at the Bobwhite Drive property. That includes materials declared a nuisance, off-street parking standards and removal of weeds. All violations were subject to penalties, some of which were corrected.
The house fire remains under investigation.