By Juliette Goodrich

FREMONT (KPIX) — A home destroyed in a fire has brought blight to Fremont’s Centerville neighborhood because it has become a rat-infested, illegal dump site. Neighbors want the city to do something about it.

“We look at it every day and that brings our property value down looking at that. It’s terrible. Something should have been done long ago,” said a group of neighbors.

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People who live here are fed up with this abandoned property that was once a home. It caught on fire February 4, last year.

“Yea, you can still smell it. It’s been over a year and you can still smell that stuff,” said a neighbor who has lived in the neighborhood for 65 years.

Neighbors say it is clear the property has turned into an illegal dumping ground because you can see all the waste. They say they have reached out to the owner and the city, and still no answers.

“We live in million dollar homes and that is the third house you see as you come into the neighborhood,” said one resident.

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The Amaral family lives right next door.

“We’ve got rats all over the place,” says Sue Amaral. “We can’t grow anything like a garden at all. We just have all this trash by us and it’s dangerous and ugly and it should be taken down.”

Many neighbors say they have reached out to the city’s Code Enforcement, county Vector Control, the City Manager, even the mayor, and nothing has been done.

They are not only concerned about the eyesore — but that it’s a potential health hazard.

“I don’t think we care so much about the house more the fact of the trash there’s rats and once the house gets torn down or even if they clean the trash up the rats was scatter and become everyone else’s problem,” says Amaral.

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KPIX spoke with the owner of the property about the residents concerns. He said he plans to demolition the abandoned home by the end of February. He said it wasn’t an essential project when the pandemic first started.

Juliette Goodrich