Rockford Fire Department Division Chief Matt Knott says "unfortunately there are times where they are unsecured where people or vandals might be getting into those buildings and could create unsafe conditions."
Of the 108 house
fires the Rockford Fire Department put out in 2012, 18% were in vacant
structures. The empty home, in the 900 block of
The orchid neighborhood association understands by the city boarding up the home they may now not be able to tear it down. A state statute requires homes to be open and unsecure to start demolition.
Orchid Neighborhood Association President Joe Owen explains "I believe that safety should supersede whatever rules they have about board ups." At this point residents just want structures to be secure.
Owen says "it's unfortunate that an entire neighborhood of people, children and families have to suffer, because it's boarded and they can't tear it down. That's not right."