1 year after Eden Prairie fire, damaged house remains unchanged

- 13 months ago, flames lit up the night, taking down a million dollar Eden Prairie home. But now, neighbors want to know why the site has not been cleaned up and the house has not been rebuilt. 

Olympic Hills is a posh Eden Prairie neighborhood filled with million dollar homes sitting on an exclusive golf course. But on one of those streets, views of picture-perfect fairways and manicured greens have instead been replaced by a charred corpse of a home that some neighbors argue is not just an eyesore, but a danger.

The homeowner barely escaped the November 2014 blaze. The 10,000 square foot house on Olympia Drive, with Italian marble floors and expensive artwork, was deemed a total loss.

“We got out, we got out with a minute, possibly two minutes, to spare or the smoke would have had us,” the homeowner told Fox 9 in 2014. 

Neighbor Bill Yost lives right across Olympia Drive, so he's been staring out at the charred remains for more than a year now.

“I'm just looking at it. I keep thinking Norman Bates lives in that garage. Imagine what has gone on in there with 13 months of weather,” Yost said.

Yost and others explain that they understand the trauma and the time needed for fire victims to recover and rebuild. But, neighbors are becoming more and more frustrated as the house sits vacant. They say it is a target for curious children and vandals and is an eyesore for those trying to sell.

City hall officials told Fox 9 they've been working with the owners to clean-up the property in a timely fashion.

Shortly after the fire was extinguished, the owner, who identified himself only by his first name of Richard, said he had adequate insurance. But the city told Fox 9 that "a protracted insurance settlement and complications due to ownership issues have caused non-typical delays in the process."

Sources say a demolition firm was recently hired and the massive home will soon come down, but Yost remains skeptical.

“I understand the problems with fires. But I have seen fire at other houses. It didn't take 13 months,” Yost said.

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