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Neighbors say abandoned house in Commerce City is both an eyesore and hazard

Front, back yards filled with junk
Posted at 2:30 AM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 04:30:15-04

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Neighbors say an abandoned house near East 60th Place and Oneida Street, in Commerce City, is more than an eyesore, it's a health hazard.

They say people who don't live in the house are using it, "to do drugs."

The owner of the house, Timothy C. Smith, died in July of 2017.

Neighbors say his wife moved out several months ago, citing concerns about mold.

Both the front and back yards are littered with debris, ranging from an old washing machine, to bird baths, old furniture, carpeting and a rotting wagon wheel.

One neighbor told Denver7 he has seen people with shopping carts and wheel barrows pull up to the house.

"People who look like they don't belong there," he said.

Smith was a avid "collector."

"I guess he was a hoarder," said neighbor Vivian Hohn, "but it was not junk. This man had valuable property, like samurai swords, and other artifacts."

Hohn told Denver7 she new Mr. Smith as "Bones."

"Bones just had a heart of gold," she said. "He loved to help children. He'd set up exhibits at Christmas and Halloween."

Many of the antiques that "Bones" displayed on the exterior walls of his home are no longer there.

There is hail damage on the west facing wall, where some of the siding is starting to peel away.

"This house hasn't had any repairs done," one neighbor said. "It's falling apart. There are overgrown weeds, there's a ton of garbage in back. It's like a landfill."

One neighbor said he has complained to Code Enforcement and to police, but the eyesore remains.

One said he has seen pill bottles, pipes and syringes lying around the property.

"It's a hazard for the health of people that live nearby," he said, "because, let's just say if someone gets in there and starts cooking drugs, now you have a hazmat situation in our neighborhood, which is a hazard to all of us."

That neighbor said there is so much junk in the back yard, next to a wooden fence, that he is also concerned about fire danger.

Denver7 reached out to Commerce City to ask how many complaints the city has received and what the next step is.

A spokeswoman said she would try to get some answers after the long Labor Day weekend.