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Fire-damaged market may be torn down

September 01, 1999

West End MarketBy DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




The fire-gutted West End Market, which some neighbors complain is an eyesore, could be coming down.

Hagerstown Building Inspector Mike Heyser said that within the next 30 days he probably will recommend that "either the owner (tear it down) or the city will tear it down and bill the owner."

Neighbors of the market and Hagerstown City Councilman J. Wallace McClure say the two-story building at 806 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown, which was heavily damaged in a fire on March 24, 1998, should be torn down.

"When you come out every day and look at it, it's an eyesore. It's terrible looking." said Betty Linton, 58, who lives across the street form the former market.

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"All it does is harbor birds," said Irene Howard, Linton's neighbor.

"It degrades the neighborhood and it looks like a monster," Howard said.

Howard said the city should demolish the building and bill the property owner, which is something McClure is also pushing for.

"The owner should bear the responsibility," McClure said.

"It's a disgusting situation," McClure said. "Something should have been done a long time ago."

Pigeons fly in and out of the roofless building shell, and dark green vines hang down the outside walls of the charred and boarded up remains of the market.

Heyser said the building is not in danger of collapsing.

Heyser has talked with the property owner since the fire and hopes that the owner will tear it down.

The property owner has said he doesn't have the money to demolish the market building. Heyser said the property owner did not have fire insurance on the property.

Heyser said it could cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to get rid of the building.

According to state property records, the property is owned by Marwan Mustafa of Frederick, Md. Mustafa's telephone number is not listed. Mustafa could not be reached for comment.

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