Burned Crown Point home still not cleaned up
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent November 29, 2012 5:28PM
Updated: January 1, 2013 6:35AM
CROWN POINT — County officials again are looking to have the owner of a home on Lane Street destroyed by fire earlier this year clean up the property and make it safe.
Ned Kovachevich, director of the Lake County Plan Commission, said officials conducted a re-inspection of the property at 10813 Lane St. to see what progress was made cleaning the site, removing unsafe structures and filling and grading the land.
“Upon a re-inspection of the site (Tuesday), we discovered that the property remains in an unsafe condition,” Kovachevich said.
The Lake County Unsafe Buildings Enforcement Authority found in June the home owned by Stewart J. Roth was in violation of the county’s Unsafe Buildings Ordinance since it burned in a catastrophic fire May 1.
The home burned the day Roth, a manager at Tierra Environmental and Industrial Services in East Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Clean Water Act for dumping waste at a company-owned site on 141st Street in Hammond.
Roth is expected to testify against his co-defendants NH Environmental Group, which owns Tierra, and owner Ronald Holmes, and that trial has been moved to December.
Five additional charges of violating the Clean Water Act and one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government were dropped in return for the plea.
Shortly after learning of the county’s concerns Roth began to have the property cleaned. That work was not complete.
Kovachevich said he would like to work with Roth to address the county’s concerns instead of having the “dangerous situation corrected by the Unsafe Buildings Hearing Authority.”
In order to bring the property into compliance the remaining above-grade structures must be removed including foundation walls, and the foundation and swimming pool must be filled in. Kovachevich said there are a number of ways that could be done, but that would be up to Roth.
The voice mailbox was full for a listing for a Stewart J. Roth in Hammond.