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Derelict House In Ruins; Martins Ferry Mayor Says Emergency Teardown Possible

Photo by Shelley Hanson – A house on Center Street in Martins Ferry is caving in on itself. The city may have to raze the building. The roof does not appear to be attached to the building at all.

MARTINS FERRY – City leaders are trying to determine their next step of action after a vacant house partially collapsed on Center Street.

Mayor John Davies on Friday said the home began collapsing last Tuesday. The area around it has since been barricaded and caution tape also is up to keep people away from the structure. He lamented that the city frequently found itself picking up the tab for demolishing these structures.

“That’s the problem we have had in town. If something happens we have no recourse to get our money back once we tear it down. That’s one of our daily struggles,” he said.

Davies said because of the collapse, the interior walls are being pushed on by the debris, priming the building for further collapse. He said an emergency razing will likely be necessary.

“We’ll see what council wants to do,” Davies said.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 14.

In other matters, the city is continuing to try and address problems with its own city building. The structure, which is more than 100 years old, is in need of a partial roof repair and masonry work after a portion of its facade fell off a couple weeks ago.

The building’s facade is pulling away from the actual brick portion of the structure. Large chunks fell into a parking lot below when it occurred. The city has since tarped the area to keep rain water from doing more damage until it gets fixed.

Davies said he recently received a $3,200 estimate for the roof work from Kalkreuth Roofing. He is waiting for a separate masonry estimate from a different company.

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