Smell of dead animals overwhelms neighbors

Image 1 of 2

“Two days we kept on smelling a smell. They didn’t know if it was a dead body or what was in there.”

Marie Baskin has a sign outside her home that says “God Bless Our Home.” It means more than ever, after her family has been bombarded by a horrific smell.  As she fires up the grill to entertain friends and family for the Memorial Day holiday, it’s only getting worse.

“Me being back there doing what I’m doing, barbecuing trying to get ready for this affair - if a strong wind comes by you are going to smell it.”

Marie says the house next door on Fielding in Detroit had been vacant for quite a while. When people weren’t living there, they would try to keep up the property on their own.

A year ago, the Detroit Land Bank Authority took over the property. We found online records. Crews boarded up the abandoned house, unfortunately trapping wild animals inside that would soon learn their fate.

Just recently, the temperatures started to heat up and she says so did the stench.

It got so bad over the weekend; Marie said her son called Detroit Police who went in to check it out, not knowing what they would find.

“They say opossums were in there when they boarded it up, and that’s what they thought they smelled.”

She says they found dead opossums, raccoons, and other decaying animals inside. Police also discovered a dead dog stuffed in a garbage bag dumped on the side of the house – and it’s still there.

Owners of the nearby store and customers tell us off camera they are sickened by the smell.

As Marie tries to care for her west side Detroit home, she says others have been treating the neighboring lot as a dumping ground. They claim they have called the city and the Land Bank, but so far, nothing has been done.

“I try to take care of it best I can. The city was closed so, I don’t know.”

When they called the city, they were directed to the Land Bank. To be fair, it’s the holiday weekend and that’s probably why they weren’t able to reach anyone. Neither could Fox 2.