Arson victims want more time before city bulldozes home - CBS 5 - KPHO

Arson victims want more time before city bulldozes home

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They lost their home and their son in a fire two years ago. Now the city of Glendale is telling one couple they're bringing the bulldozer. The city said the family hasn't cleaned up the site fast enough. But the couple said they just need a little more time.

On one side, you have a couple not only mourning the loss of their son, but also struggling financially. On the other, neighbors are upset at the eyesore, and the city saying enough is enough.

"He had the most wonderful smile," Karen Konik said, speaking of her son, Michael. He passed away after one of his friends became angry after a fight and set their Glendale home on fire.

"We may have lost all our pictures and everything but our heart is here," she said.

But maybe not for long. While Konik and her husband, who have no insurance on the home, say a prosecutor advised them not to repair the home until after the criminal arson trial ended, the city of Glendale said that's not the case, and that they've had plenty of time to rebuild.

"They told us you need to have everything off the property because as of Oct. 14 they were going to come in and take everything out," she said.

The city also said the Koniks created a safety hazard when they turned the rubble into a haunted house and collected money. But the Koniks said they never asked for a dime when they only decorated in memory of Michael, who loved Halloween.

"We love this area, there's no place like Glendale," she said.

They showed us a petition showing neighbors supporting them, but not everyone is on the same page.

"I can't put my house on the market. It just drives down the value," neighbor Dave Hetherington said.

"It's an eyesore, it's bringing down the values," neighbor Kathy Turnbow said.

And while the city isn't budging, the Koniks are doing whatever they can to save a home they have their names carved into.

"Anyone who knows us knows we don't walk away," she said.

The Koniks have been living in a nearby apartment. They've hired attorneys to help them and say their last resort may be to final bankruptcy.

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