PIEDMONT - A local citizen spoke to the Piedmont elected officials during the Wednesday evening council meeting about the rental property that is located about six feet from his home, and the unsafe condition of that structure.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - A local citizen spoke to the Piedmont elected officials during the Wednesday evening council meeting about the rental property that is located about six feet from his home, and the unsafe condition of that structure.
Steve Thrasher, of East Harrison Street, had been in contact with the Piedmont council on at least four times, and he said the house in question has been vacant for about a year, and is presently ready to be rented again.
“That house should not be allowed to be rented,” he said, adding, “It is a fire hazard, and during the last month we know what a fire can do to homes.”
Fires believed to have been possible arson have destroyed two homes on East Hampshire Street within the last month.
Thrasher continued, “If that house catches on fire and unless the fire department is in front of the house when it starts, my house is gone.”
He gave an example of the condition of the house when he mentioned that at one time there were about two feet of bricks on the flue above the roof, and now there is only one row.
He said that some of the fallen bricks “have hit his house, and other bricks have fallen down inside the flue,” and the hot water tank and the heating source vent into the flue.
“I have talked to everyone about that house,” Thrasher said, naming the county prosecuting attorney, fire marshal, and the department of health and human resources.
He said an unsafe practice has happened at the neighboring house by having an extension cord coming out of one window and going into another window to have electric in that area.
Thrasher then told about the previous renter having two years of collected garbage in one of the rooms.
He said that he has called the owner, however, recent calls have not been answered.
Susie Clark, building commissioner, said that she would call the fire marshal to see what may be done about this situation.
Former mayor Ben Smith, who is now serving Piedmont as water commissioner, said the community is in the process of initiating home rule, and has been working on this for the past six months.
“Hopefully, by the end of the moth, Piedmont will be appointed as a home rule community,” he said.
Speaking to Thrasher, Smith said, “This may help you, because a home rule community can make ordinances that would be the law.”