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Paige’s daughter says Norfolk property must go through court before clean up

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NORFOLK - The daughter of Norfolk property owner Cora “Josie” Paige says that her mother’s burned down state Route 56 home must go through the legal process before a complete clean up can occur.

Linda Paige said Friday that due to numerous factors the remaining debris and items on the 26 South Main St. property have not been able to be removed.

“What did they expect us to do in the winter?” Linda said. “If we could have cleaned it up ,we would have.”

In the early morning hours of Nov. 24, an electric heater spark ignited a fire, resulting in the displacement of seven people and the death of four animals. Fire investigators declared the home a total loss.

Over the past six months, the perceived eyesore has drawn the ire of some community members, according to Norfolk town officials.

“Some of them feel that something should start happening and get done. Their concern is ‘Ok, why can’t they start coming down and getting rid of the truck, the camper, the boat and all of the other junk that’s on the property?’ Where are we with this and what can we expect and what’s happening with it?” Councilman Donald I. Purvis said Monday.

Linda said that the home was not insured and brothers Seth and Zachary Hamm would have paid her mother off if that had been the case.

She also said that while her mother is still the property owner and is on the deed, the brothers are legally on the land contract.

“Seth Hamm lives in Norfolk now and Zachary Hamm lives in Albany. We are having trouble getting a hold of Seth to see what’s going on,” Linda said. “The lawyer told us to wait and it has to go through the court system. They have a right because they still have stuff on that property.

“She is 86 years old. What do they expect her to do? It is in my mother’s lawyer’s hands now,” Linda said.

During Monday’s monthly board meeting, Code Enforcement Officer Leonard “Max” Halpern said that a home destroyed by a fire has up to two years to be brought up to code or removed.

Linda said that there are numerous properties on state Route 56 and in Raymondville that are in poor shape as well and she has discussed them with Mr. Halpern in the past.

“I’ve been in contact with Max Halpern and if there were any chance we could go in and clean up that stuff we would have, but it has to go through the legal system,” she reiterated.

Attempts to reach Mr. Halpern on Friday were unsuccessful.

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