Imagine running a business next to piles of debris and broken windows.
"It’s ugly. A lot of mess. Nobody cleaned it up,” says Concepcion Dinarte, who owns Dinarte Bridal on East California Avenue. “The owner just came and looked around, took a picture, but didn't do anything. I called to the city so many times. I called to the Health Department. Nobody does anything."
Dinarte's shop is next door to the trashed building. In August, firefighters broke Dinarte's glass door and cut open the roof to put out flames that were coming from McWilliams Bail Bonds.
Two months later, Dinarte still has a hole in her roof and the building beside hers is filthy.
"A lot of places get burned and they come clean in one or two weeks, But, two months is too much,” she says. “Are they planning to keep it forever?"
Dinarte says the building stinks and turns away customers. “When people come by the store, they see the trash and leave."
In the back of what's left of the building, there are heaps of trash filled with charred papers and old clothing. Employees with the business on the other side of the burned building say they're worried about safety.
“We worry about the trespassers coming in, breaking in, seeing that there’s holes in the roof and knocked down fences,” says Amber Ricalday, whose family runs Ventura's Party Supplies. “It’s just horrible. We’ve gotten broken into a couple times and called police.”
17 News told Bakersfield Code Enforcement Supervisor David Paquette about the trashed building. Paquette says his office opened a case and will be working to get rid of the debris.
“The open doors and the windows, we'll have those boarded up,” Paquette says. “The fire damage, we can eventually have it demolished."
Paquette says Code Enforcement has cleaned close to 10,000 properties this year. He says it normally takes 45 to 60 days to give a property owner time before staff cleans or demolishes a building.
If you have an issue you'd like City Code Enforcement to check out, call the complaint line at 326-3712.