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We’re hearing from neighbors as the City of Decatur plans to demolish an elderly woman’s rat-infested home on Woodmead Street.
“I feel so awful," Viki Milliken said. "I’m just heartbroken. I can’t believe that they’re just going to take it all. She’s going to lose everything.”
That was Viki Milliken’s reaction when she learned the home across the street from her own is going to be demolished.
Milliken told WAAY 31 the affected homeowner is a friendly person, and Milliken was upset when she learned the Department of Human Resources moved the elderly woman to an assisted living facility.
“That’s her home. I just can’t even imagine somebody coming and telling me ‘Your home isn’t worth it. Here it goes.’”
But according to Charles Kirby, the city councilman for the district, the woman was living in deplorable conditions for several months.
He said there were rat droppings, dog feces, and standing water, as well as mold on the ceiling.
When WAAY 31 shared this news with Milliken, she was shocked.
“A few weeks ago, they came out and nailed a ‘Condemned’ sign to her tree and her actual porch," she said. "I had no idea what was going on inside the house. The outside of the house is pretty well-maintained. She always kept the yard mowed and the trees trimmed.”
But the rat droppings didn't necessarily surprise Milliken.
“I have seen vermin on the outside of the house, so I was assuming that maybe there might be some inside the house, but nothing like what we’re hearing the inside of the house actually looked like," she said.
In the meantime, Milliken is concerned about the elderly woman and her family, and she told WAAY 31 she wishes she had known about this earlier, so she could’ve helped.
“I just wish them the best. I’ll be praying for them every day," Milliken said. "I can’t believe it’s at this point. I just can’t believe it.”
It’s unclear when the home will be demolished and what will happen with the lot afterwards, but we will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.