Man frozen out of Detroit's ice house in dispute with owner


A 100-year-old home in Detroit turned into a gigantic iceberg last week after a water leak caused massive flooding and eventually flowed outside and onto the street. According to the man living in the home though that was, in fact, just the tip of the iceberg.

Rev. Elton Williamson Sr. says he's been given one cold shoulder. He said he's been frozen out of his home and it's not just the ice that is nor adorning the side of the century old home.

We first went to the ice house in Detroit's historic Boston Edison neighborhood on Saturday. That's how Williamson learned what was happening at his home. 

"It's really embarrassing," Williamson told us the incident got people talking. "The block club president said 'whoever was here must have squatted' and all of these kind of things. You get a lot of things attached to you and it is not true."

Williamson says he lost the house five years ago. According to Williamson's attorney, he was allowed to stay in the home.

"The current owner of the house bought it at a tax foreclosure and then entered into a land contract with him allowing him to live in the house," attorney Joe McGuire said

He was staying with his daughter a week prior to the pipe bursting. After seeing the damage on FOX 2, he came to see it on person.

"Next thing I know, he put a lock on the door," Williamson said. 

Locks are only half his problem. The other problem is obvious: you can still see the ice hanging off the house, but when you get closer, you can see the thickness of the ice on the porch is about three inches.

The door is open a crack, but whoever got in before isn't getting in now: Even if the pastor wanted to get into his house, the door is stuck in the ice. Inside the ice house is his entire life. 

"If he had been living in this house, if they had not locked him out, he would have been able to move his stuff out, he probably would have been running the pipes in some capacity," his attorney said.

In fact, that's the exact reason he contacted McGuire in the first place. 

"Michigan law clearly prohibits tenants being locked out of their houses without a court order," McGuire said. "

They claim the proper eviction process wasn't carried out and now they plan to sue the owner of this property. 

"I hope he's happy because he's caused us great grief."

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