Presque Isle tears down condemned house with history of police calls

3 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Demolition crews have torn down a condemned residential building with a history of incidents involving police.

The building at 5 Verone St., formerly owned by Presque Isle resident Jean Simpson, had recently been acquired by the city of Presque Isle for back taxes of $4,800, according to Presque Isle Financial Director Brad Turner. 

The two-story wooden house with a one-story addition was condemned and taken over by the city two months ago due to code violations involving its water and sewer system, said Presque Isle Code Enforcement Officer Tim St. Peter. The water froze in the pipes last winter and had to be shut off, which was why the home was deemed uninhabitable and torn down on Wednesday.

“Typically the property owner will fix [the water and sewer issues] and get it out of the condemned status,” St. Peter said. “This one was a little bit different.”

Five people were living in the residence and were able to arrange times to get their belongings out of the building, St. Peter said. The displaced people went to live with friends or relatives in surrounding towns. They had tried to fix the water and sewer violations, he said.

Simpson is also now living with relatives, St. Peter said.

There were multiple calls to police involving the residence this year, including reports of domestic disturbance, burglary, and trespassing, according to Presque Isle Police Department service call records.

The lot the residential home sat on is just over a third of an acre and will be put on the market at a date yet to be determined.