House fire victim waiting for city to act before demolishing house

- Fire gutted her home, but before an elderly woman can get the charred remains removed she needs Detroit to act.

After months of waiting for the city to turn off the water, her family contacted problem solver M.L. Elrick.

This isn't the first time M.L. has helped out the family, and as FOX 2 viewers know, they are no strangers to heartache.

There isn't much left of the house where we first met farmhouse Steve.

You may remember him as the champion feather bowler whose portrait was stolen around the time he was diagnosed with cancer.

Less than a year after Steve died, his parents' home on Hereford burned to the ground.

The heat was so intense it melted lawn chairs and just about anything nearby.

The Gosskie family tried to knock down what was left, but couldn't get the water shut off.

"We must have called altogether a dozen times," said Julie Gosskie.

Mrs. Gosskie says demolition contractors told her they couldn't clear the site until the utilities were shut off.

So she called DTE Energy.

"They said they'd be there the next day, which I presumed they weer. And then I called the water board, and that's when the fun began," she said.

Efforts to cut off the water proved to be more challenging.

Water department spokeswoman Linda Clark says the city was on the job almost immediately, but couldn't shut off the water because it was behind a locked fence.

Clark says workers returned a few weeks later, but the fence was still locked.]

Mrs. Gosskie acknowledges that the fence was locked, but as you can see, that is no longer an issue.

"I don't understand it. It seems that somebody being lax in their duties. It's frustrating," she said.

Ms. Clark was kind enough to speak with Mrs. Gosskie today and assures M.L. that the water department will turn off the water in the next week or so.

Clark says she will work with Mrs. Gosskie so what's left of her home can be demolished.

Sadly, among the prized possessions that were incinerated was a copy of farmhouse Steve's portrait.

But Mrs. Gosskie says she's relieved she can soon help keep her old neighborhood looking good.

"For the neighbors' sake, if nothing else," she said.


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