EAST ELMHURST — An East Elmhurst home that burned in a fire last year has become an eyesore in the community, and neighbors say they're afraid of more damage in the winter.
The home at 98-15 24th Ave. burned in an early-morning fire on Dec. 4, 2012, and there hasn't been much work done since, neighbors said.
Scott Griffin, 54, lives directly behind the home and said he's seen raccoons and opossums roaming around the house.
He also said the abandoned cars in the driveway — some with blown-out windows from the fire — "degrades the community."
"Nobody wants their house to depreciate," he said.
Marion Moore has lived in the house next door with her husband, Fred, since 1967. She recalled the early-morning fire last December and said not much had been done since the house was partially cleared out last winter.
"At night, when it rains, I can still smell the debris," she said, adding she's seen people sneaking into the house to take out items, like pipes, to sell to junkyards.
"I don't want squatters," she said. "I don't want to cause trouble, but the value of my house goes down."
An inspector with the Department of Buildings was at the house Wednesday checking on a complaint about the windows being missing that was filed a day earlier.
A rep for the Department of Buildings said two complaints had been filed about the house, including one in August for the building being "open and unguarded" and the other filed Tuesday.
The August complaint resulted in a DOB violation, but the specifics were not immediately available, department records show.
The buildings inspector closed the latest complaint, saying all accessible openings on first floor were closed and noting that the building is vacant with fire damage.
A lien was put on the home in September, according to paperwork filed with the Department of Finance.
The woman listed as the homeowner on DOB records died several years ago, according to public records and neighbors.