MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The sight outside Lee Franks' door was frightful Wednesday night. His next door neighbor's house was on fully engulfed with flames.
"I heard some rumbling sound like an explosion. Heard it one time, and I heard it again. I stepped out the door, and I saw the house ablaze," Franks said.
According to Steve Huffman of the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department, once a house burns, it is up to the property owner to take action.
"It's the property owner's responsibility to take care of them once they've had a fire. What we do is notify the property owner if they are not already aware of it and let them know they've had a fire, that they need to board it up or tear it down...whatever the case may be to make it safe. But as far as the process of getting all that done, that actually falls under Urban Development," said Huffman.
These recent midtown fires have posed a threat to surrounding homes on either side. Some neighbors said they are concerned about the safety of others around and how long it could be before it's torn down.
One neighbor said it could mean more trouble for the burned home.
"That's potential for whoever did it to come back and do it again," said one neighbor across the street.
"I'm hoping that maybe they will go ahead and tear it down. There have been cases where individuals will come and set it ablaze again," he said.
Huffman said it is a safety issue until it's secure.
"The biggest concern we have is someone trying to go inside for whatever reason," said Huffman.
Unfortunately, if the owner does not take care of it, it might be there longer than expected.
"To get one torn down, it's a lengthy process," said Huffman.
Huffman said both fires on Elmira Street and on Washington Avenue are still under investigation.
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