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Whitehaven house to be demolished after neighbors complain of animal infestation, blight

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Whitehaven homeowner was brought to tears Wednesday night when WREG told her there’s going to be a solution to a problem in her neighborhood.

She reached out to us after the house next to her became dilapidated and started attracting rodents and pests.

“Snakes have crawled up the wall here and then they crawl down the wall," said Marla Eads.

Eads showed WREG's Bridget Chapman what’s become more than an eyesore next to her Whitehaven home.

“The rats started, then some holes through the roof and stuff like that.”

She said the problems started 15 years ago but got worse over the past year-and-a-half with it being vacant.

“The stench started getting bad.”

She said sewage has run into her yard along with overgrown trees and branches.

“We have mosquitoes like we’ve never ever had.”

Eads said the rest of the block is in good shape, but said she’s gotten conflicting responses from city workers over the years of what can be done next door.

“It’s like Alfred Hitchcock," she said. "It’s like living in the twilight zone.”

There are signs on the property labeling it as a dangerous building; one is so faded you can’t see what it says and the other one from the city is dated from last August.

A city of Memphis spokesperson told WREG the homeowner’s been involved with code enforcement for over two years. He was ordered to vacate in 2015 but was an elderly man who insisted he could save the home.

A city spokesperson said he was provided some assistance, but it was ultimately decided he couldn’t keep the property up.

“We have replaced that whole side, our privacy fence, we replaced this front part.”

A city employee says they’ve requested the utilities to be disconnected at the house and expect it to be demolished next month.

If you have similar problems with a house in your neighborhood, you’re asked to call the City of Memphis’ Call Center at 311.

If you want to help improve your neighborhood, call Memphis City Beautiful at 522-1135.