Roseville tickets woman who lost home in fire dealing with insurance company stalemate

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A man rushed into a burning home to save his mother in January.  Seven months after the incident the family is still involved with a legal battle to get the house torn down.

"So much smoke, so like a dummy I open the door and then go back into the kitchen and get a dish towel and get it soaked wet," said Lillian Telesz. "I walked from the back door to the front door twirling it ... but that didn't work.

"I had smoke inhalation ... I don't know how many days went by (before I woke up in the hospital)."

The house burned down back in January and what's left of it remains as an eyesore. 

Lillian and her family have been battling with the insurance company and say it is frustrating because people have broken in and looted the home. And neighbors are fed up with having to look at the charred remains. 

Lillian got slapped with a fine from the city of Roseville for not having the house torn down. Her family says it stems from a battle with their insurance company - Auto Owner's Insurance to pay for the cost of the tear down.

"It's like pulling teeth with them unfortunately," said a relative. FOX 2 called the insurance company, but got no response by news time.

But Roseville's building department director says state law makes insurance companies put money in escrow for tear downs in total loss situations, and they did that here.  The city says it doesn't want to punish the owner - just get it taken care of.

FOX 2: "You believe you could tear the house down and it would cost them zero?"

"That is correct," said Glenn Sexton, building director.