West Frankfort community concerned over home, neighbor - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

West Frankfort community concerned over home, neighbor

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WEST FRANKFORT (WSIL) -- Some West Frankfort residents say they fear for their lives. They claim a neighbor's living conditions and his actions, pose dangers to others in the community. 

One of those neighbors spoke to News 3, but wanted to stay anonymous for safety reasons. She says the man has always been messy since he moved in about six years ago, but his aggression has gotten out of control over the past six months.

"He’ll throw things and tear things up in the front yard, and then scream toward our house," the woman explains. "He screams about fighting us... physically fighting us. And he has threatened to kill us. He’s threatened to kill the children."

She claims his dogs dug a hole under her fence and took a pet rabbit, "He picked it up and had a knife, and he gutted the rabbit and then skinned it." 

The neighbor says although police and fire have responded multiple times, and calls have been made to the city, long-term action has been slow. 

"We (neighbors) feel like the ball has been dropped several times," she remarks. 

That ball finally got rolling on May 20 when Fire Chief Jody Allen responded to a report that an explosion and odor was coming from the home. 

Allen searched the outside and inside of the home for any leaking gases but none were found. Instead, he found several health code violations.  

"There was animal feces everywhere. the home does not have windows," he explains. "There’s no tub. Apparently they were using the bathroom and it was going through a hole in the floor." 

Allen also says the fire department has responded to many illegal burns at the home.

One of those includes the garage, which was completely destroyed just days after his home visit. Allen adds those illegal burns are dangerous to other surrounding homes. 

The fire chief gave his report to the city, which has now filed a petition to tear the home down. A judge will get the final say.

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