Sanford residents want arson properties cleaned up

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SANFORD, Fla. —

Sanford residents who live near properties that were involved in recent arsons are complaining that the mess left behind hasn't been cleaned up.

No one has been charged in the string of arsons that spanned central Florida. And Channel 9 has learned that some of the structures that were set ablaze are still piles of rubble.

One of the few properties that has been cleaned up is the historic little red school house, which belonged to the city of Sanford and burned down in early July. City crews came in and cleaned up the property the day after the fire.

But that's not the case at some of the other arson sites. Resident Kurt Ewen is forced to stare at one of them from his porch.

"After 10 years in the city, I am a bit cynical about the possibilities of code enforcement moving things along in a timely manner," said Ewen.

County and city officials said the owners are first given the opportunity to get the property in compliance before further action is taken.

Many believe the burned properties are unsightly and dangerous. Two property owners have already been slapped with notices, one for code enforcement violations and the other for condemnation.

"We were assured that within a couple of weeks to a month, it would be gone, and we are well past that," said Ewen.

Officials said it's ultimately up to property owners to clean up the rubble, despite being victims of arson.