City acts afters partial collapse of Sequoyah Hills home

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Knoxville Fire Department was called out to the scene Wednesday afternoon with a report of a roof collapse on an abandoned home. The City of Knoxville is now taking action to determine the home's future.

David Brace, the Public Service Director for the City of Knoxville said "We have initiated what we call and Emergency Repair Demolition Order which essentially is the city communicating to the public and the owner that they need to take action."

But there's more behind the history of this home that explains the reason it was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Brace said "The owner was non-compliant for several years and the house has been declining but the owner recently passed away."

Since then the home has been in probate, a legal process that happens when someone passes away. The court system will go through the will of the deceased person and distribute the assets to the heirs.

It's a legal process that has left the home and owners in legal limbo for several months.

"The aires of the home are aware of the situation. They want to take corrective action but the probate and court system are holding them back." said Brace

However, with the recent roof collapse the City of Knoxville is working quickly to resolve the situation.

The city will go to a Public Administrative Hearing Officer at the end of September to confirm the Emergency Repair Demolition Order. After that the city would have the right to legally demolish the house and take corrective action.

"The family really want to do the right thing. Their mother has passed and the house is in decline but they're really had their hands tied." said Brace

The city's main goal is to get the ownership details resolved so the house can be sold or demolished and a new house can be built.

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