LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
(AP) Holiday homes in rural Alabama are set to be demolished and replaced by smaller homes, a step the owners say they don’t want to take as a result of a fire that damaged more than two dozen of them.
The owners say their homes have been saved by fire fighters but have lost so much value that they cannot continue to pay the costs of repairing and maintaining them.
Officials in Little Rock, home to the largest concentration of firefighting aircraft in the U.S., said the owners of the two Holiday Home Laundry in Bala and the Lisdoonville and Lisdonville Holiday Home on the outskirts of Little Rock say they are seeking help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We’re in dire straits,” said the owner of the Bala Holiday Home.
“Our property is now uninhabitable, and we don’t know what will happen to our property.”
The owners of Bala, Lisdonsville and the Holiday Home Triceratop said the homes were not in the best condition when the fire started, but they have been saving them.
“The owners are not making a big deal about it,” said one of the owners, Tom Sorenson, who said his family has owned the Londonsville home since 1949.
“It’s been in our family for over 100 years, so we don and shouldn’t feel bad about what happened to it.
We were fortunate that the house caught fire and we were able to save the house.”
The fire broke out Friday night in the basement of the Londeonsville Holiday home.
Officials said there were no reports of injuries, but no homes were immediately destroyed.
“I don’t understand why we are having this discussion,” said Sorensons wife, Nancy.
“You don’t care about the damage to our house or the destruction of the property.
What we need is some sort of insurance.”
Soren’s wife said the fire was caused by a “superfund” of soil that had built up on the bottom of the basement.
“What we need now is some kind of compensation for the owners,” she said.
The family is asking for $250,000 from the city of Little Roanoke, which owns the Balas Londeonville and Balas Triceratos.
The city is seeking reimbursement for the cost of repairing the house and repairing its foundations.
“While we are grateful to the community for all the help and assistance they have given us, we are extremely grateful to those who have been brave enough to go above and beyond,” said City Manager Jim Jones.
“Any money you receive is appreciated, and will go toward the cost and repair of the damaged properties.”