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Give the city of Cumberland high marks for its
handling of fire-damaged properties.
Several major fires have occurred over the last
year or so and many of the buildings that were
badly damaged have been razed.
When a building has major damage from a fire
it can be a problem for an entire neighborhood if
the structure is not
repaired or demolished.
buildings can lead
to blight to nearby
We like the city’s
to the problem. “We
realize that a fire is a very traumatic event, as
anyone who has experienced one surely knows,”
said City Administrator Jeff Rhodes. “Dealing
with the financial repercussions and the insurer
can also add to the difficulty in resolving these
issues. Recognizing that, city staff handles
these instances with greater sensitivity than a
typical blighted property.
“However, we also recognize the adverse
impact a fire-damaged property has on neighbors
and neighborhoods if repair or removal
takes too long, so we try to stay on top of these
properties and offer what assistance and
encouragement we can to expedite the repair or
removal,” he said.
Rhodes cited five different properties that
have been dealt with following fires. Most of the
buildings are on Cumberland’s East Side.
In nearly all of the cases, a cooperative spirit
between the city and property owners and
insurers has resulted in demolition. The other
case involves a Maryland Avenue home in the
600-block that the city is in the process of