Good Evening
Good Evening
Long IslandSuffolk

Patchogue orders homeowner to demolish burned, damaged house

Patchogue Village officials are ordering homeowner Stephen Moore

Patchogue Village officials are ordering homeowner Stephen Moore to tear down his severely damaged house, ruined in a fire last year, after deeming it unsafe at a trustee meeting on Monday, July 26, 2015. Above, a view of Moore's house on West Avenue on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Patchogue has ordered a homeowner to tear down his severely burned house.

The home of Stephen Moore on West Avenue was deemed unsafe at Monday night’s village trustee meeting.

If Moore doesn’t comply, the village will demolish the home at Moore’s expense, officials said. They would also consider allowing him to bring the house up to code, but that’s unlikely because of the amount of damage the home has sustained, officials said.

Ronkonkoma engineer Steven P. Uccellini, who inspected the home in February, told the board that the porch is unstable and the roof badly damaged. The home also has no plumbing or electricity, he said.

“Nothing was salvageable. Nothing was missed by the fire,” Uccellini said. “It’s safe to assume the house was burned from one end to the other.”

Village officials said it was time to take action against the vacant property, which burned last year.

“It’s gotta go. Take one look at it. You can see from the front door to the back,” Mayor Paul Pontieri said after the meeting.

Earlier this month, board members set the public hearing to allow for the inspector to give his report.

Village officials also needed a ruling from State Supreme Court Judge Daniel Martin to allow the engineer into the structurally unsound residence after the homeowner, who was living next door, wouldn’t give inspectors permission to enter.

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Moore said village officials have never tried to contact him about his home.

He said he prefers to tear down the house and build a new one but that his insurance settlement wouldn’t cover the expenses. He said he hoped to hire an attorney who would attempt to negotiate a higher settlement amount to rebuild his home.

In 2015, Brookhaven made tearing down decrepit vacant houses one of their top priorities by demolishing 31 homes, five of which were torn down by the property owner at the urging of the town.

Last month, two vacant houses in Gordon Heights and Manorville were demolished by Brookhaven after officials determined they were unsafe. The homes were knocked down under Chapter 73 of the town code, which provides a “fast track” to rid neighborhoods of unsafe structures.

Latest Long Island News