Columbiana sues couple over home’s condition

Staff report


City Atty. Daniel A. Blasdell has filed a lawsuit against a couple who haven’t fixed or demolished their burned house.

Jason R. and Kristina Neapolitan were living at 129 Hawkins Lane in a house with an attached garage Nov. 9, 2010.

The complaint filed Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court stated that the house was partially damaged by fire and efforts to put out the fire.

The fire and action to extinguish it “left the subject structure totally dilapidated and uninhabitable,” according to the lawsuit.

The document added that because of time and bad weather, “the remainder of the structure has been severely weakened.

It is a danger to humanity, a potential haven for wild animals and vermin, and in a condition that debases the appearance and general character of the neighborhood.”

The lawsuit also says that the city already has spent $2,628 to pay Crowell Construction to partially secure the house during the lawsuit.

Columbiana Housing Inspector Robert Belding issued an order May 2 stating he believes an emergency exists that requires the city to demolish the house immediately.

He said he thinks the house can’t be repaired.

Belding and Fire Chief Rick Garrity could not be reached.

City Manager Keith Chamberlin said he believed the Neapolitans “hadn’t done anything about the damage because they were moving out.”

The lawsuit asks for a ruling that the property is a public nuisance, a court order to demolish the house and restitution of $2,628 for having the house secured.

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