A Bustleton home that in July was found filled with vermin, trash and animal waste as well as several dead cats likely will be torn down.
And since that will require a court order, it will take a while.
On July 7, the 74-year-old owner was rescued from the home on the 9100 block of Bickley, a small street near Welsh Road and the Boulevard.
The man had called for help after falling in his longtime home, but family members couldn’t get in and called authorities. It is when rescuers entered the home that dead and live animals were found as well as animal waste, trash, fleas, mice, rats, spiders and bats. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was called in to find and shelter any live animals.
In July, the PSPCA reported that there was not one place inside the house that wasn’t covered with feces.
PSPCA spokeswoman Linda Torelli said the owner was hospitalized since he was taken from his house and was only recently released. She said investigators continue to look at the case.
Besides the filth, the house had structural problems. The city reported part of the roof was collapsing as were some walls. The Department of Licenses and Inspections posted the building as “unfit for habitation.”
Since July, city workers have cleaned up the exterior of the property and sealed the building.
L&I’s Emergency Service Unit evaluated the property, said spokeswoman Rebecca Swanson, and determined an outside service that specializes in hazardous material cleanups must be retained.
“This will require a court order granting permission to enter the property, which L&I will work with the Law Department to obtain,” Swanson stated in a Nov. 21 email to the Northeast Times.
Because of the level of contamination, Swanson said, the cleanup is expected to take some time and require disposing of what is removed at hazardous waste sites.
“Following the cleanup, L&I will bid the property out for demolition,” Swanson added. “The Emergency Services Unit determined that the property is not salvageable for future habitation due to the level of haz-mat contamination and that, as such, demolition is the only remedy. Again, this will require legal proceedings in order to obtain a court order to demolish.”
She said L&I sent violation notices to the owner and has received no response. The owner will be billed for all abatement work, including the cleanup and the demolition, and if the bills are not paid, the total amount owed will be entered as a lien against the property.
In July, Swanson said city work-ers have been to the prop-erty at least four times since 2005 to clean up trash and whack down weeds and grass.
The city has about $2,000 in li-ens on the prop-erty for this work, she said, al-though a $618.48 bill for work done in Decem-ber 2012 had been paid. ••