Family asked to move, home damaged during a next door demolition

MORROW, OH (FOX19) - A family in the Warren County village of Morrow is looking for another place to live after their home was damaged when the house next door was demolished.

The demolition order came from the village and Warren County has given the Doughman family 30 days to repair or remove their home.

Both sides are headed for a legal battle.

There's a sign in the front window of the Doughman home that reads "Family owned since 1965. This is how our village takes what it wants", but like many disputes involving property the story is a bit more complicated.

Kim Doughman lived in the home with her husband, their four year-old son and her husband's parents. She says village officials want to tear down a small group of row houses along Morrow's Main Street to make way for new businesses. "They want to bring money in, but there's homes and lives they're taking away from people and it's not right."

Doughman could barely contain her emotions when she talks about how the demolition of the house next door has affected her family. She says village administrator, Rod Smith, assured her family they would be taken care of. "He told us that he would make sure that we had a home that we wouldn't be left homeless."

The village put the Doughman's up at a motel temporarily and provided them with food vouchers, but they have to be out tomorrow. In the meantime the family has hired attorney James Whitaker who says "They said your client never put any siding on it. Well, it was a common wall with the building next door and first of all it's my understanding the building is about 100 years old."

Whitaker says he plans to take the Village of Morrow to court.

Whitaker's son Ryan, also an attorney, says the reason for the demolition is clear. "The village of Morrow has a long term goal of beautifying that area and they want to redevelop it."

In our commitment to balanced news FOX19 reached out to Morrow Village officials who referred us to their attorney John Kaspar who says the demolition uncovered serious structural problems with the Doughman house which the village is not responsible for and was not caused by the demolition company.

Warren County officials say the repair or remove order is negotiable and the Doughman's can appeal, but what this family really needs is a place to live.

County officials also say the repair or remove order was issued because the Doughman house is structurally unsafe to occupy.

Meanwhile, village officials say they've been working with charity groups to get the Doughman's some help.

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