BLUE SPRINGS -- Two homes in Blue Springs burned to the ground Saturday, though neither instance was a tragic loss for property owners.
The homes were old, dilapidated and unoccupied, and community members decided to take action in attempt to clean up their town.
“We want to remove an eye sore for the town of Blue Springs,” said Town Councilman Gene Reedy Jr. “Most of these houses have been sitting around vacant for quite a while and they’re in terrible disrepair. We want to get rid of them and clean it up so maybe someone will want to build a new home on the property."
Reedy acquired the property at 505 S. Hazen St., on which a house was burned to the ground.
He estimated the house was as many as 100 years old, and had been unoccupied for several decades.
The house, in addition to another at 123 N. Washington St., were burned down Saturday, bringing the total up to three houses this year that were removed.
The planned burns were executed by the Blue Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
Chief Brad Robinson said such exercises not only help to clean up the town, but provide the young department of 21 volunteers an excellent training opportunity.
“These burns are good practice for the department,” he said. “On the one we burnt this morning, we did drafting training (setting up a dump tank for use in areas where no hydrants are present) and now we’re doing hose training.
“We have a lot of young firefighters coming on who are around 18, so it’s good practice for them.”
Before burning the houses, any salvageable items are removed and inspections are conducted for hazardous materials such as asbestos.
Reedy said more houses may be burned in the future, but the process is a long one that’s often met with resistance.
“There are other houses in town that are not doing not so well that would be nice to get rid of,” he said. “There always seems to be some resistance to get things like this done. Everybody want sot hold on to stuff, but a lot of times there’s not a lot to hold on to.”