CBS4 Problem Solvers helps neighbors get answers about vacant house next door

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Neighbors on the east side of Indianapolis say they've been trying to get answers about a vacant home on their block all year.

Ellen Parker lives right next door. She contacted CBS4 Problem Solvers for help, saying that she had contacted various city agencies about the house more than a dozen times and spoken to inspectors, who visited the house at least four times this year, according to city records.

"There been nothing done to it, nothing," Parker said.

Squatters began living in the house and in May, it caught fire in the middle of the night. Parker said she felt lucky that her husband and son were awake at the time and firefighters were able to extinguish it before it did damage to her house.

Since then, Parker has tried to get answers about what will happen to the house next.

"I was praying that it either would be tore down and we would buy the lot or somebody would fix it up and move in," Parker said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers contacted the listed owners of the home and found out that it was in the middle of a sale. That sale closed on Friday and the new owner, who is a contractor with local rehab company TKW, showed up to speak to Parker and other neighbors.

"You’ll see, it’s going to be a new house," buyer Axl Gonzales said.

TKW owner Alex Burrow said he hoped that work would start on the property soon and that it would benefit the neighbors, like Parker, who have been concerned about activity there.

"(Gonzales) came to us with it as a quiet street to raise his family on," Burrow said.

Parker and her neighbors told CBS4 Problem Solvers they were happy to hear that someone had plans for the house and hoped to see progress start soon.

"We’re trying to keep our area nice and neat and clean, but we can’t do it all by ourselves," Parker said. "This will be a blessing."

If you have problems with a vacant home in your neighborhood, city officials recommend contacting the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4622. Parker said she called multiple times and records show inspectors did issue fines to the previous owner and order them to board up the property.

Contact CBS4 Problem Solvers if you have a problem you'd like us to consider at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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