HAZLETON — It’s been about two weeks since a fire tore through a vacant building on McKinley Street in Hazleton. The place finally began coming down on Friday. Earlier in the day, neighbors were anxious for the building to be gone.
This may sound like a quiet street in Hazleton, but it certainly doesn’t look peaceful. Charred debris and caution tape still surround this vacant house on McKinley Street, nearly two weeks after flames tore through the building.
“They used to be such pretty houses, but now I don’t like to sit out there. There’s just a feeling of, despair is the word,” said neighbor Roberta Graham.
Roberta Graham lives across the street from the place.
“The word I heard is ‘Well, they’re going to tear it down Friday.’ Well which Friday is that? Fridays have come and gone,” said Graham.
Other neighbors plan to move. Carmen Rosario lives next door. She was forced out of her home for five days because of smoke damage. While she was gone, three TVs and a video game system were stolen.
“We’re here, looking for an apartment. We still haven’t accomplished anything. We want to leave,” said neighbor Carmen Rosario.
In late afternoon, Hazleton Police and code enforcement came to McKinley Street, asking people to move their cars and blocking off the street to make room for the demolition equipment.
It’s a demolition that Roberta Graham and her neighbors said couldn’t come soon enough.