"We've been fighting for two-years to have it torn down. Cameron Ridle started the fight about a year ago with us. And finally this morning, they are actually tearing it down and keeping their word," Kattrina Conningham said.
The neighbors on South Harlan Street on the Indianapolis south side are now very happy. It has been a year since they first called WRTV Reporter Cameron Ridle about what was a nuisance of a house at 2310 South Harlan Street. Kattrina Conningham reached out after finding used needles while walking her daughter to the school bus. She and other neighbors say the house has been home to nothing but problems.
"We have squatters in there, my daughter's bus stop is at the corner. We had kids going in and out and starting fires in there. It's been a headache, it's been a hassle, and its been dangerous," Conningham said.
Conningham and Robin Wood-Gebhart are two of the neighbors who have consistently called the officials at the City of Indianapolis and WRTV in an effort to get the place knocked down. Over the past year, WRTV has aired a series of stories on the address, first after the needles were found, then after squatters returned to the house, which partially collapsed after a fire in 2018.
"You never know what you're going to encounter when you walk out your front door," Wood-Gebhart said.
WRTV took their concerns to the Mayor's Office which informed us the house had been slated for demolition since 2018, and could actually be demolished by the end of 2019 or the early part of 2020.
When that didn't happen, WRTV was back at the house again, and then most recently in August and September of 2020. After our latest reporting this month, neighbors woke up to the sound of semi trucks and bulldozers.
"The house if finally coming down! Finally. It was burned down two years ago this month and we've been fighting with the city for the past year or so trying to get it down because we found needles at the bus stop over here. Vagrants, kids climbing in and out we're just waiting for someone to get hurt and finally it's down," Wood-Gebhart said.
Neighbors say knocking the house down is an immediate improvement to the area they otherwise love.
"The rest of our neighborhood is nice. Our street is really all homeowners. We take pride in our home and this has really just made our neighborhood look ugly and like we don't care," Conningham said.
During the demolition, a contractor knocking down the house told WRTV a man was inside the structure as the work began. The man told the crew he was still living inside and needed an hour to collect his belongings.