Son cleaning up deceased father's blight
BATON ROUGE - A blighted house and a property overflowing with cars, tools and thousands of other items are in the process of being cleaned up.
Neighbors and home associations contacted 2 On Your Side to help clean it up, after their please with the city-parish went unanswered.
A permanent injunction was put on the homeowner in 2008 and city ordinances say he could be facing hefty fines for not cleaning up. Late Wednesday, 2 On Your Side learned the homeowner passed away three months ago. He son, Barry Michael Brown, Jr. inherited all of his father's belongings and he's now working to clean it up.
"He loved to collect things," said Brown.
His father, Barry Brown, Sr. did it all. He moved to the Old Hammond Highway home in 1977 and worked as a contractor and mechanic. His son tells 2 On Your Side he was also a businessman and a musician.
"I worked with him, most of the time side by side with him," said Brown. "Between the two of us, there wasn't nothing we couldn't do, couldn't fix."
His father built an addition to the home. He used scraps from some of his jobs to complete the project that now is a 9,000 Sq Ft home.
"If there's anybody that went to a beat of their own drummer it was him," he said. "But he couldn't play drums to save his life."
The drums were played by Brown. Now they're part of the impressive collection that sits in a room once dedicated to music. Sitting among those drums about about 50 speakers. The list doesn't stop there. On the property, there's a boat and Mercury Marine motor that's never been used. Tool chests full of tools, others scattered on the floor or on shelves. There's a bobcat next to a man lift and a dump truck. There's a couple commercial-grade car lifts and about a dozen other vehicles surrounding the property.
The list continues with building materials, scuba gear, brand new tires and furniture.
Brown say he knew neighbors wanted the property cleaned up.
"I don't like it looking the way it does and I can understand," he said. "At the same time there's more important things going on."
Now with his dad gone, Brown has started looking through everything and says nearly all of the items are for sale. He needs help cleaning up the memories some have been fighting to get rid of for years. Brown has asked inquiries be directed through OnYourSide@wbrz.com.
City inspectors have been on the property within the last 24 hours. The Parish Attorney's Office says it expects a report next week about whether or not the permanent injunction will have an effect moving forward.