‘Heartening’ improvements at condemned Marion home

Jan 5, 2021

MARION — At a Jan. 5 Board of Health meeting, Health Agent David Flaherty called the improvements at a condemned property “heartening” after touring the 464 Front Street home, which is now up for sale.

The house, known for being the site of years of animal abuse, is currently advertised with Coldwell Banker Realty for $595,000.

The house was condemned when owner Lauren Fisher, 65, was arrested for two counts of animal cruelty, interfering with a police officer, and resisting arrest on Dec. 11, 2019.

Since then, the house has remained unlivable.

A nine-page affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for the home details that 51 animals that were removed from the property and years of observed maltreatment and neglect of dozens of animals took place in the home.

Flaherty said at the meeting that owner Lauren Fisher invited him in to see the place.

She took me for a tour around the entire house,” he said. “It looks like they’ve done a very good job.”

Although Flaherty had previously brought up concerns that the condemned building may still be occupied at a November 2020 board meeting, he told the health board on Jan. 5 that he had been assured no one is living there.

“They’re only there during the day to get work done,” he cited the owner as saying.

The health agent said he plans to double check with Building Commissioner Scott Shippy that all of the permits are in place for the improvements, but noted that what he saw was “heartening.”

“It looks a heck of a lot better than it did before,” he said. “I’ve seen the pictures, it’s like 90% better than it was before.”

The improvements come after the board extended the deadline for improvements at the home by 30 days, from mid-December to mid-January.

Flaherty said that the owner is planning to sell the property.

“She told me that she almost had a buyer last summer, but it just fizzled out,” he said. “But maybe now they’ll have one.”