Toledo's Model Block effort targets site of deadly fire

Reported by Shelley Brown
Posted by Kate Oatis

TOLEDO -- Seven-and-a-half months after a tragic fire claimed nearly an entire family, residents in one west Toledo neighborhood are learning the charred home will finally be taken down, thanks to the City of Toledo's third Model Block effort.

The effort targets the Library Village area bounded by west Sylvania, Lyman, Royalton and Westway streets, reports News 11's Shelley Brown.

The man whose family died in the fire spoke with News 11 from a hospital bed last November.

"I had one reason for living and that was my family. I made my schedule around them. Whatever I did was for them," Anthony Diaz said at the time.

Neighbors are pleased the home on Lyman is coming down.

"It looks bad, it smells really bad, and there's just a lot of really bad memories there," said neighbor Beth Steinbauer. She thinks about Diaz's family all the time, she says, and remembers making the call that night to 9-1-1.

"I'm very anxious to get my house repaired, but I'm going to wait until they tear that house down for fear that some damage my happen to my house again," Steinbauer said.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner was on hand to talk about the changes being made.

"We will work with residents trimming trees, cleaning alleys, removing junk," the mayor announced.

The mayor is hoping a concentration of city services and partnership with residents will give the neighborhood a clean slate.

In addition to that demolition and other neighborhood improvements, the city is launching a program to help residents properly dispose of hazardous household materials, including oil-based paints, batteries and fertilizers.

If you live in the area of the Library Village, call 419-936-3015 before July 16 to set up an appointment for pickup.