Neighbor: Condemned Springfield historical home on verge of collapse

Woman concerned her home could be damaged if house falls over

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Springfield resident is worried that the condemned historical house next door to her will collapse at any moment and crash into her home.

Lauren Cephus said she loves her Springfield neighborhood but it's overshadowed right now by a vacant house, which has a historical designation because of its age. 

The home, which is owned by Southern Development Holdings Group LLC, out of Marietta, Georgia, was condemned even before Hurricane Irma ripped through the Jacksonville area. But Cephus said the building deteriorated even more after the storm.

“The roof of this house was flapping all night,” Cephus said. “All you heard was metal going back and forth.”

The next day Cephus emailed the city, and a crew came out to inspect the building. 

“They deemed the building unsafe and said that the walls were going to fall in,” Cephus said.

Despite that, no date has been set to tear it down, and a magistrate hearing scheduled this week to discuss what to do with the house didn’t take place. 

For now, city workers put up red tape that reads, “Danger, do not enter.”

With a condemned sign on the door, a hole in the roof and red tape on each side of the home, Cephus fears the worst.

“When you are telling me that the whole wall is going to go in, what happens to the roof? Does it hit the window? My daughter's room is right up here. Does it slide into our building?” Cephus said.

News4Jax has been unable to reach the home's owner for comment. The number listed for the company is disconnected. We are waiting to hear back from the city on the next date that will be set to discuss the future of the house. 

News4Jax also contacted the Municipal Code Compliance Department and Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney, who represents the district. They have not returned messages seeking comment.

Cephus said that until some action is taken, she's anxiously awaiting a solution.

“We will sit and keep looking at the building,” Cephus said, “and hope it doesn’t fall anymore.” 

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