Dangerous, blighted Detroit home demolished following Help Me Hank report

City levels blighted house on Glynn Court

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DETROIT – A blighted home in Detroit was presenting a danger to residents in one neighborhood, but after a Help Me Hank report, the building has been leveled by the city.

Deborah Drake has lived on Glynn Court her entire life. She said the house next door used to be beautiful.

"It's boarded up right now, and it has chains where they were trying to shift it back to one side," Drake said.

The house was caving in on itself and bulging out toward Drake's home.

"This is where we're at right now," Drake said. "It looks like it's going to collapse on my vehicles."

She said debris falls off the house, making it a danger to her home, cars and family. She said she reached out to city officials but never heard back.

"We're here, just patiently waiting," Drake said. "That's why I reached out to you."

Help Me Hank went to the home to take a closer look. A look from our Local 4 drone could tell right away that the caving roof needs attention. When the first snow falls, it could bring down the roof.

The house is privately owned by a man who lives in Canada, and while the city was notified months ago, the house was up to blight code back then.

When Help Me Hank got involved, city officials took another look and agreed conditions deteriorated rapidly, meaning they would step in.

"Ideally, we'd like to see owners take care of their property, but when the conditions get to this point, it puts public health and safety at risk," said Brian Farkas, the director of special projects for the Detroit Building Authority. "We'd like to move in and take care of it very quickly."

Farkus said city officials will order emergency demolition when there's a danger of an impending collapse. Since the conditions of this home had gotten so bad over the last few months, it was placed on the list for emergency demolition.

"We're moving as fast as we can," Farkas said. "We've demolished over 19,000 homes in the last five years, so speed is very important to us, and we're taking it very seriously."

Fencing and signs were posted, indicating the home would soon be knocked down.

Now the house has been demolished, and residents are relieved that quick action was taken.

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About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.