Pueblo officials stress code violation reporting after small fire

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 20:15:35-04

A small fire that happened Sunday in Pueblo has city officials reminding residents of the importance of reporting code violations.

The fire, which happened at a home off Carteret Avenue, started after a family was grilling in the backyard. The flames were contained before the fire department arrived, but the fire still caused quite a scare for neighbors, burning just across the fence from their home.

The Hodnett family, which lives right next to the fire’s location, actually helped hose down those flames. They tell News 5 they put thousands of dollars in renovations into their home, and that’s why they were so concerned.

With Sunday’s fire being so close, the Hodnetts are seeking a solution to the preventable code violations they started seeing next door.

"I mean, you can’t turn a blind eye to that anymore, because where does it stop? I mean, if it’s not cleaned up and addressed, it’s just going to happen again," said Travis Hodnett. "And that’s a big concern for not just this family, but all the families on this block."

News 5 brought those potential violations to the City of Pueblo’s Code Enforcement Division, which issued a litter and weed violation notice to the tenant Monday. That notice means the tenant has 10 days to get rid of the litter and weeds.

The Hodnetts tell News 5 they also took their issues up with the property’s landlord, Pastor Tim Reed and Lake Avenue Baptist Church. Reed told News 5 off camera he’s working on it, but the family isn’t convinced.

"Instead of having the vision that this is just the way it is. It’s filled with trash. It’s going to catch on fire, and you’ve just got to deal with it. Well, we think otherwise," Hodnett said. "We think beautiful places are right here where you make them… Why can’t Pueblo be beautiful?"

The dilemma led us to ask the code enforcement office how best to handle this situation moving forward.

Manager Karen Willson told News 5 approaching the landlord with the issues is a solid start. But, if that doesn’t work, it’s best to report the issue to the code enforcement division by calling 719-553-2492 with information on the violations and the location.

With a small staff, Willson said it will likely take the office between 30 and 90 days to respond.