City Tried to Demolish Chicopee Coal Barn for a Year
The flames damaged 6 nearby houses, winds carrying embers across the Chicopee River, which started a fire in some brush along Granby Road.
The fire destroyed a barn the city was trying to get rid of anyway.
They were trying to do so since last year, when they found a family living in a house in squalor on the property. “It was brought to our attention that a gentleman was living in the house on the same property as the coal shed and it was brought to our attention by one of our vets. He was living in these horrid conditions,” said Carissa Lisee, Chicopee’s Assistant Building Commissioner.
When they found he’d defaulted on his mortgage payments, the city got a court order to take the barn down, finding it was contaminated with things like asbestos, which delayed the process.
After the city moved the elderly man out of this home, teenagers and homeless people began loitering here, forcing the city to board it up.
The city still has to clean everything up.
Since the land is contaminated cleaning that along with the fire will end up costing taxpayers. “We were prob. looking at $70,000 for the house and the barn. Essentially, the city is going to be footing the bill, and now we have this property we have a lien on,” Lisee added.
There aren’t any other plans for the land beyond that just yet.
The State Fire Marshall is still investigating the fire as suspicious.