Ask NOW: How long can fire-damaged home stay standing?

Nov. 30, 2011

Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the community that needs to get fixed? Mary Malahy explains some of the mysteries of life in the Tosa area.

How long can fire-damaged home stay standing?

Issue: A reader wrote to ask about the house fire on 119th and Cherry streets. She wants to know how long the house is allowed to stand before it has to be torn down.

Status: Mike Carberry, assistant fire chief, told me that after a fire, the Wauwatosa Fire Department investigates. Once the department completes the investigation, the house is turned over to the owners.

If the Fire Department decides the damage is too extensive and the house is unsafe, the Building and Safety Division gives will order that it be razed, Carberry said. This process can take up to six months.

But, Karl Schreiber, permit technician, said the demolition permit for this particular home already has been issued and he expects work to begin soon.

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