Gobles marks a sad anniversary
Updated: Saturday, April 6 2013, 09:03 AM EDT
GOBLES, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Exactly one year after a massive fire tore through downtown Gobles, the town is still waiting for clean-up to begin.
Newschannel 3 was there on April 6, 2012 as decades of history went up in flames.
The fire destroyed three small businesses and left the small town heartbroken.
That sadness slowly turned to frustration when nothing was done to clean up the mess.
At this point, the site is still a heap of burnt debris, with no visible progress on removing the rubble.
People who live and work in Gobles have to deal with that eyesore every day, a painful reminder of what happened one year ago.
They say cleaning up the mess has become a mess of its own.
Back in January, Newschannel 3 learned about an agreement between the city and the property owner, Jan Wescott, to finally clear the site.
The city had sued Wescott for violating its anti-blight ordinance but, in a last-minute deal, promised to drop the suit if she removes all the rubble in six months.
Wescott claims it was a dispute with her insurance company that caused the delay.
She still has three months to clean everything up.
“We’re ready to get back to our little city that we're proud of, instead of everything being so negative for so long," said Gobles Mayor Carol Johnson.
Firefighters say they may never know what sparked the flames that ripped through the heart of downtown Gobles.