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Neighbors want rat-infested home demolished

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - Some residents in Whitehouse are asking the city to demolish a run-down home that's been abandoned for nearly two years.

Neighbors say dozens of large rats and other rodents have been spotted running around the home in the 100 block of Lakeview Street in Whitehouse.

While residents are begging for something to be done, the city says condemning a house is a long process.

In the backyard of an abandoned home, neighbors say they've seen several rodents on multiple occasions.

"They were kind of hopping around like bunnies or something, but they were rats," said Ashley Dunn, neighbor. "Really big rats, kind of like sewage rats."

Dunn says it's not just the rodents. She says there's also a strong odor coming from the house.

"It's foul like maybe something is dead in there, like lots of feces," said Dunn.

The city says the owner of the property died nearly two years ago. A Christmas wreath still hangs on his door, an unregistered car parked in the driveway and a boat left sitting in the backyard.

Whitehouse City Manager Mike Peterson says no one has claimed the property since his death.

"We have attempted to locate the current owner. We are not having a lot of luck," said Peterson.

Peterson says the city has been mowing the property's grass. Legally, he says that's all they can do for now.

"The next step in our process is being a notice in the two papers saying we're considering condemning the property," said Peterson.

He says if no one comes forward, they'll post a public notice that the home will be demolished. A process, Peterson says could take months.

"It's really gross," said Dunn.

Now, the only thing neighbors can do is wait for what they call an "eye sore" to be cleaned up.

The city says their code inspector will take a look at the property Thursday.

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