Fire-damaged house still not under compliance, city officials say

In July of this year, a house at 205 West Lincoln was extensively damaged by fire. Approximately 45 days later on September 7, an abatement hearing was held and the owner of the property was present. Nikki Howard, Urban Development Director, gave James Ray Fitzpatrick 5 days to secure the property, and 10 days to clean up trash and debris. She said he had 30 days to have a letter from the insurance company stating he would rebuild or the house would be demolished.

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According to Daryl Howard, who lives across the street from the property, a gentleman was observed picking up trash and debris then tossing it over the fence into the backyard of the property.

On October 5, 2022, The Sapulpa Times took photographs of the rear of the house and the backyard which shows that there was no back door on the house, the backyard was filled with trash and debris, and that the gate in the backyard fence was standing open.

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Later that morning, Sapulpa Times spoke to Nikki Howard and Building inspector Mark Stephens, informing them of the status of 205 West Lincoln. Nikki Howard said the City was waiting on a letter from the property owner’s insurance company. Stephens immediately spoke up and said that he had received an email the day before from the insurance company stating they were “paying the claim.” Stephens was asked if that meant the property was going to be restored, and Stephens replied that would be up to the homeowner.

Sapulpa Times was then told that a letter would be sent out giving Mr. Fitzpatrick another 30 days to either obtain a construction permit or a demolition permit. Stephens also said he would contact Fitzpatrick about the two conditions that had not yet been met.