Removing remains of burnt-down, demolished properties in Dayton an uphill battle

The plan to get rid of nuisance properties is now facing a problem.

After flames destroy a business or a home and it’s not structurally sound firefighters will order an emergency demolition.

What is left behind is often referred to as a “fire pile”, but neighbors see them as eyesores.

Angie Miller works at Dream Center near a fire pile at East Third Street and Jersey Avenue.

She is frustrated by the mess and said the city has worked to address it, cleaning up and remediating a couple of piles near her workplace.

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Steve Gondol, deputy director of community development for Dayton, presented the good and bad news about demolition progress to city commissioners this week.

The regular demolition process saw good progress.

So did fire piles, 28 were cleaned up in 2023.

The only problem, 29 new fire piles were created after fires resulted in emergency demolitions.

There were 111 total fire piles at the start of 2023 and 112 at the end of the year.

“That’s frustrating but we know it’s a reality that we’ve known but we wanted to share this number,” Gondol told commissioners.

Neighbors want to see more lots cleared and grass covered.

“We want to see the community rebuilt, stronger than ever,” Miller said.

When it comes to regular demolitions in 2023, the city reported taking down 188 nuisance homes and businesses and another 25 garages.