ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A property that’s been an eyesore for years went up in flames this weekend and it’s not the first time. Now neighbors are calling for something to be done. “It’s become like a magnet for crime and fires and theft and stuff like that,” said Gary Peterson, a neighboring business owner.
Near Central and Moon is a property on Susan Avenue, which neighbors say has been vacant for the past decade, except for the troublemakers they say are constantly breaking in. “We had a major fire, we’ve been having fires weekly over here, theft and fires every day.”
That property went up in flames yet again this past weekend. That’s something officials say is happening a lot, last week, Albuquerque Fire Rescue responded to three outdoor fires on the property.
News 13 covered a fire there in 2020, which burned two acres of land, sparked by a large pile of scrap and trash. That’s when the property first landed on the radar of the city’s code enforcement. “We’ve been trying really to get it resolved, you know, with some, you know, through zoning through APD through AFR, you know, all the agencies, tax lien everything, we’ve tried to contact everybody.”
They cited the property, declaring it substandard and a public nuisance for the buildup of trash, weeds, and broken-down cars. But no owner ever came forward, and the mess has only gotten worse.
This weekend’s fire re-ignited the neighborhood’s cries to clear out the piles of debris and tear down the mobile home. But code enforcement says it’s not so easy. “There’s nothing they can do. Because there’s technically no owner, the owner passed away 10 years ago, the family doesn’t want anything to do with it.”
With no owner, the future of the property, and how quickly the city can intervene, remain murky. “Every, every day, it’s prostitution, drug dealing, stolen vehicles, you know, it’s a daily occurrence here. And, frankly, we’re sick of it.”
Code enforcement has called in the building safety division to evaluate the property. Following the evaluation, an emergency demolition or city council action could take place.