by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
LILBURN, Ga.,None - There are new developments about a home that has been deteriorating for an entire year after a deadly meth lab explosion.
Channel 2 Action News has learned the bank tied to the home is now promising to clean it up. But neighbors said the process never should have taken this long.
“The people that live in Spring Mill are the ones who drive by it once or twice a day and are reminded of it,” said resident Don Kiefaber.
As Channel 2 first reported last week, residents around Spring Mill Road said the boarded-up home is a constant reminder of the fire that killed three small children.
Police said their mother, Neibi Brito, and two men were manufacturing methamphetamine, but it exploded, creating a flash fire in February 2011.
"We are no farther along in this process than we were right after the fire,” Kiefaber said.
He said he and other neighbors have done what they can, cutting the lawn and raking leaves. But they saw no action from anywhere else.
"Somebody should have stepped up six, seven, eight months ago, besides the homeowners in that community,” said neighbor Dan Bolton.
Last week, Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh dug through court records and found county code enforcement officials never located the owner. So, they cited the lender nine times for various code violations. When they never got a response to the citations, they scheduled a trial in absentia, meaning with or without the bank, in April.
After pulling those records, Kavanaugh made some calls.
Chase Bank is the mortgage lender on the home. But Chase representative Greg Hassel told Kavanaugh the home is still not in foreclosure. Hassel said the bank continued to receive payments for several months after the fire, but he could not say when they stopped for confidentiality reasons.
The bank doesn't own it. However, they want to step in and clean it up anyway.
Hassel emailed a statement saying, "We have not started foreclosure proceedings on this property, but we will have crews out to secure it and clean it up as soon as possible."
"I hope they're sincere in what they say they want to do. Time will tell whether they're really going to do anything or not,” Kiefaber said.