City of Roswell plans on demolishing house while owner is in hospital

Created: 05/09/2014 7:05 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

She’s already been through a lot.

Her home caught fire, she was trapped inside, and she’s still recovering in Texas.

While she’s healing, that New Mexico woman has no idea the city plans to demolish her home.

It was a terrifying scene.

"I'm at 311 Swinging Spear Road and there's a fire," said neighbor Samantha Andrade in a call to police.

Andrade called 911 when a home went up in flames in February.

“There’s people in the house, and I think there's a family in this house," said Andrade in a call to police.

Kimberly Rodriguez was inside.

Roswell police officer Chris King went inside the burning home to rescue her.

Rodriguez was flown to a Texas hospital.

Since the fire, neighbors say her family has been staying with relatives in Texas to focus on her recovery.

But once she’s better, Rodriguez may not have a home to come back to.

"I mean where is the compassion?" said neighbor Virgil Woods.

Last night City Councilors voted to demolish her home.

Her neighbors can’t believe it.

“She hasn't had time to take care of any kind of personal business,” said Woods. Anything at all, she's been out of town. There was a whole lot of administrative things that had to happen before she could do anything with her health. Has anybody tried to get to the bottom of why we want to tear it down so fast?"

City code enforcement says they're taking action because they haven't heard from the owners. 

They've sent a letter to the home and posted a sign on the home with no response.

But neighbors say Rodriguez hasn’t had a chance to receive the letter.

“You’re dealing with a person that is not even here, is helpless," said Woods.

The city says the home is an eyesore and a health hazard.

“The way the city looks at it, you're just a name and a number, that’s it,” said Woods. “There's no feeling, no compassion, you’re a name and a number."

A spokesperson with code enforcement says they heard from the homeowners Friday afternoon.

The city is working with the family, to give them time to make repairs and bring the home back up to code.

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