Home left blighted after fire frustrates neighbors

Carlisle/West Shore

When there’s no will, apparently there’s no way. 

That’s what a Lower Allen Township neighborhood found out after their neighbor, 63-year-old Lee Reed, died in a fire at his home on Royal Drive. Because Reed had no will, his house fell into disarray. 

More than two years later, neighbors want his memory preserved and his blighted house saved, but nothing has been done.

Initially, Reed’s daughter was appointed the executor of his will, but according to township officials, she was unresponsive, even when the township offered to buy the house. 

Nevin and Linda Wevodau built their entire lives on Royal Drive. They’re not going anywhere, but if they wanted to, they said they would have problems. 

“We’re not going to get the money out of our home that we would have three years ago because this is what we live next door to,” Linda Wevodau said. 

The interior of the home was destroyed in the fire on Jan. 25, 2017, but the exterior also isn’t in great shape. No one has come by to shovel the sidewalk in the winter, and last summer the weeds grew to the home’s window — that’s when the Wevodau’s tried to get answers. 

“We called the township, and it seemed like they were giving us answers, but it was always runaround answers,” Wevodau said. 

Township officials said they issued several citations for high grass and weeds and paid for a contractor to mow several times. On July 26, the township deemed the house unfit for human habitation. 

A few months later, after officials said they received no response from Reed’s daughter, they petitioned the court to have her removed. 

“It’s not like something is going to happen tomorrow or anything like that, but we’re just getting to the end of our rope where we would like to see something happen, after two and a half years now,” Nevin Wevodau said. 

The Wevodaus said a truck was parked in the driveway for years was finally moved Wednesday, but they’re worried that since there’s a new executor — Reed’s son — the process will start over and leave them waiting for an undefined amount of time. 

In a statement to ABC27 News, township building and zoning coordinator John Eby said, “We are in the initial stages of working with the replacement administrator.  We have communicated with his attorney, and provided contact information to the BPRB so its efforts at blight resolution on our behalf can also be resumed.”

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