Petersburg official fed up with leftover burned properties: ‘it kills the spirit of the people’

The Tri-Cities

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — One official has made the call to action to address blight in the City of Petersburg 

The city’s assistant fire marshal says many of these burned homes have been abandoned for years and it’s ruining the city’s image. 

“It kills the spirit of the people,” assistant fire marshal Marlow Jones said, “and it kills the integrity of the people.” 

Jones said some of the abandoned structures have been around for almost 20 years. 

He took to Facebook and created a clip highlighting areas in the city where damaged properties exist. 

“We can’t allow this and we won’t allow this,” Jones told 8News. 

One Petersburg resident, Phillip Williams, also spoke with 8News on Tuesday about the eyesores around the city.

“It looks dead, it looks very depressing,” Williams said. “They need to do some fixing up on the homes, they need to do some fixing up on some of the streets.” 

This is a familiar sight for residents who say they are fed up with it. 

“It reduces the property value around here,” Jones said. “Nobody wants to wake up and walk out their front door and see stuff like this. Nobody wants to walk through their neighborhood and see this every day.” 

Jones said he’s willing to take matters in his own hands.

“If you’re a landlord,” Jones told 8News, “and you’re renting stuff out like this, we’re going to come looking for you too. Because the proper thing to do as a landlord is to come to code compliance and get an inspection.” 

Jones says he has a full list of property owners responsible for the burned homes he plans on contacting. He said he plans on taking them to court if they don’t follow orders in a timely matter. 

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