Abandoned home causing problems in neighborhood

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) Rats, snakes, and garbage: just a few of the problems in an abandoned house in one neighborhood.

Neighbors tell Local 8 News that in November 2008, a home on Guiness Road in Cumberland County caught fire. Since then, it's been abandoned.

Neighbors complain it's an eyesore, it smells bad, and caused an infestation of snakes and rats.

Glenn Breeden has called the county repeatedly for years, hoping something could be done. Now it looks like it will.

"It's changed my way of living and we've had to move out twice," said Glenn Breeden.

Why? To air out the home, which had the smell of decay inside the walls. Breeden lives in the home directly behind the abandoned house.

"Horrendous smell. There's nothing that I don't believe smells as bad as a dead rat," said Breeden.

The poison underneath his house is working, but he can't poison the rats in the home right over his back fence.

It's also filled with garbage that's been sitting there for more than four years. Not much else has changed since the first pictures he sent in April 2009.

The abandoned burned home is an eyesore for neighbors and smells bad, it also could be lowering the values of their property,"

"I don't know that we could give this place away. I mean when you've got this on your back door," said Breeden.

He contacted the county, who tracked down the company that holds the property: Bank of America.

"It's also in foreclosure, so we've not only had to chase around the owner, but also the person that holds the mortgage and deed of trust on the property," said Randal Boston, the county attorney.

Attorney Boston says the Board of Health and Safety Standards gave him the okay to go through the bank to get them involved.

"And once we find that person, we've always had great success in getting these matters cleared up when the financial institution is involved, such as this one," said Boston.

The Breckenridge neighborhood is nice and quiet, and was once rat-free. Neighbors hope it will be that way again soon and the house will be razed.

Now that the county has gotten in touch with Bank of America, County Attorney Boston says it generally takes about 30 days for the company to take care of demolishing the home and clearing the property.

So it'll still take some time, but after four and a half years, neighbors just want to see it happen.


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