FIRE HAZARD: Burnt Building Still A Risk

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Even when Environmental Reclamation & Recycling was open Janice Groves worried about the warehouse across her street.

Groves says, “We always have. Even when they were working there we were worried about the asbestos and stuff.”

Once the company closed, problems with the property piled up like trash, literally.

The property hasn’t been used in years, but that didn’t stop people from dumping their garbage inside the building. Groves says, “It’s full from floor to ceiling with asbestos, boards, papers.”

Captain of the Des Moines Fire Department Steve Brown says, “How can somebody leave all this stuff in the building?”

The department spent three hours putting a fire out in the building located on Scott Avenue near Southast 14th Court Thursday night.

Brown says, “The biggest thing is just trying to get somebody to track down. Who the owners are and get them to do what needs to be done.”

Filled with flammable material, firefighters say it’s not a matter of if, but when another fire starts in this building. Groves says, “Well it is a firetrap and it is an unsightly building.”

Groves says she’s called the city numerous times about this eyesore. Groves says, “There’s a lot of trouble it’s in litigation. That’s all we get when we call about it.”

And without an owner coming forward and taking care of the costs, Groves’ backyard view doesn’t look like it’s going to improve anytime soon.