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House burns down

No one owns it

 

This house, which burned last Tuesday at 611 Holly Street in Coulee Dam, has been declared a “safety hazard” by the police and fire departments. No one claims ownership of the house. — Roger S. Lucas photo

A house fire at 611 Holly Street could be a problem for Coulee Dam’s town council.

Fire razed the home last Tuesday evening, Sept. 18, and the question of its cleanup will likely fall into the hands of town officials.

Seems there’s no owner of the house.

Taxes on the house had been paid by a descendent of the former owner of the house so that his daughter, now deceased, would have a place to live.

The person who paid the taxes for the past several years didn’t claim ownership of the house then, and doesn’t now, Police Chief Pat Collins stated.

“The house now is a safety hazard and the fire chief and I are going to ask the council to have the town take it down,” Colllins said.

The house used to belong to Red Sayler, who had some ownership ties with the old Green Hut Restaurant in the early days. He has been deceased for several years. His son paid the taxes in recent years, Collins explained.

The house has been uninhabitable for several months with no water, garbage or sewer service, Collins noted. Okanogan County Health Department had been notified that there were no services to the house and yet some people were occupying it.

“The health department was supposed to come down and red tag the house so people wouldn’t try staying in it,” Collins said. “That was about three weeks ago.” He said they didn’t show up to do it.

The property likely will sit until the county steps in and takes it over for taxes.

If the town cleans it up and places a lien on the property, the county could end up paying for the cleanup, Collins stated.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

 

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