Neighbors fear large Broadmoor house will soon collapse

Through the massive, gaping hole in the wall of a house at the corner of Fontainebleau Drive and South Salcedo in the Broadmoor area, you can see appliances, dangling wires and an abundance of rotten wood.

According to neighbors, the building has been steadily decaying for several years.

This week, things suddenly got much worse.

During heavy rains a few days ago, part of an exterior wall collapsed. Now, neighbors fear more of the building could cave in.

"Water has been pouring into this house for years and years and years, and this is what you see when the water has been pouring in for years and years and years -- a dangerous situation," said next-door neighbor Margaret Thomas. "We have kids that stay in this block. Matter of fact, we have a family that stays right there. The kids play and we are afraid that it will fall and hurt someone."

Thomas said the building has been crumbling since Hurricane Katrina when the owners abandoned it.

According to the Orleans Parish Tax Assessor's website, the property is owned by Harold and Verylyn Foley. The Foleys are also listed as the executives of a real estate development firm in the Atlanta area.

FOX 8 tried to contact them by phone and email. However, we have not been able to reach them.

According to the city, code enforcement officers deemed the property blighted and in violation of city code last month.

The owners get 30 days to respond or appeal, and that time period expires this week.

A city spokesman said plans to demolish the building will move forward, although the process could take a few weeks.

For neighbors, it can't happen soon enough.

"They should tear it down and build a new house," said Santos Arce. "The house could fall into the middle of the street."

Thomas hopes it doesn't all come crashing down before the demolition.

"Did you notice the yellow tape that somebody has come and put around it? It is a danger. Even as we stand here today, it may just fall now," she said.

The city said an inspector checked the property Wednesday evening, but didn't find it to be in imminent danger of collapsing, which would call for an emergency demolition.

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