Savannah "Jungle House" Cleaned Up - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/28/05

Savannah "Jungle House" Cleaned Up

Last year. Last year.
Today. Today.

Talk about an extreme makeover. Almost a year ago, WTOC showed you what became known as "the jungle house," a rundown home hidden by trees and debris. Now all that has changed.

We drove by it twice, because we didn't recognize the whole block. You would never know the house was once a jungle, thanks to a lot of hard work by the city, and a new owner.

A year ago, 1205 East 42nd Street was barely visible behind all the overgrowth. Now, it's all cleaned up.

"It is like night and day," said Alderman Mary Osborne. "It looks like a mansion to what it was before."

In fact, when Alderman Osborne first drove by a year ago, she didn't even know a house was back there. "We found this lot which we thought was totally a lot because it was so overgrown it was like a jungle."

So a year ago, neighbor Charlesetta Riley's son called for help. "He decided to call WTOC, which was a blessing," she said.

WTOC helped get the city and neighbors together to solve the problem. Because, as neighbors will tell you, the house was more than just an eyesore.

"We had snakes and rats, when my son would come out to do the yard on our side he would find baby rats and mother rats and everything," said Riley.

The city fined the former homeowner and then two weeks later Savannah Impact came out and started the cleanup process, cutting some of the jungle down. Eventually, a new owner bought the house and finished the job.

Now there's a yard, a deck and the inside is all new.

"I often come out here and say, 'Wow, you people are doing a good job,'" Riley.

"It just makes such an impact to see this house redone and see what it does for this block," said Osborne. "It's the prettiest house on the block now."

We tried to get in touch with the new owner to see what his plans for the house are, but he is out of town. The city says problems like this are taken seriously and they are glad to see the community getting involved in solving the blight issue.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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