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Permits Superintendent Gives Update on McKinley Avenue Homes Damaged in April Fire

Eric Bowles, superintendent of permits and inspection, cleared up why it took longer than expected to demolish one home and begin renovations on another home, both of which were damaged in an April 12 fire

If you've driven through the 500 block of McKinley Avenue SW between April 12 and now, you've probably seen two houses in pretty bad shape.

Both were fire that was . One house remained charred and vacant while the other had undergone various states of demolition.

The fire had originated at 516 McKinley Ave. SE and spread to the home next door, 520 McKinley Ave. SE.  or "mineral spirits" doused on the back porch of 516 McKinley Ave. 

The house at 520 McKinley Avenue was demolished, Permits Superintendent Eric Bowles said at Monday night's North Canton City Council meeting.

Bowles said it took the contractor who was working on the home at 520 McKinley Avenue a "considerable amount of time" to get a permit to demolish the building. That's because the city took extra concern with proper cleanup, prepping the house for demolition and backfilling the hole so that the area could be built upon again.

"A lot of places claim they can do demolition in a very short period of time — the question is are they doing it right? Is that lot going to buildable some day?" Bowles asked. "In North Canton, that is a buildable lot ... and we would like to have the opportunity for somebody to build another house on that site at some point in time."

Bowles said the home at 516 is being renovated.

"(That home), as you know, is a peculiar situation where the prior owner had pulled the permit and then two days later had sold the property," Bowles said. "There was a gap in time from the demolition until the contractor started, but that was due to scheduling on (the contractor's) part."

and investigated the fire, along with the State Fire Marshal's Office. Officials expect to charge one person with aggravated arson, and the case .

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