There are many aspects of Tyler, Texas that greatly show off the city's beauty. In the same breath, you can say that there are many aspects of Tyler that can show off how ugly this city can be. When I talk about the ugly portion of Tyler, I am meaning the many abandoned buildings the city has. It is a problem and it's coming to the forefront because of how unsafe those buildings have become for both first responders and the homeless that have occupied those buildings.

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Problems at the Tysen House

In December of 2021, Tyler firefighters responded to a fire at what used to be known as the Tysen House on East Erwin. As firefighters were battling the blaze, three firefighters fell through the floor into a pool of water inside of that building. Several homeless people who had set up refuge inside had to be rescued as well. The next day, Tyler Code Enforcement inspected the building and deemed it a substandard structure and a public nuisance. The owner was contacted and given 25 days to create a plan to rehabilitate the building.

Other Fires and Missed Deadlines

After that 2021 fire, two other fires (one in January of 2022, the other in April of 2022) were called in for that location and the homeless seeking shelter in the building were removed both times. The property owner missed the initial 25 day deadline but did submit a rehabilitation plan in March of 2022. That plan did not meet the specifications the city requested and was rejected.

With the cooperation of Neighborhood Services, Code Enforcement and Building Inspections, we have identified structures that are a safety hazard. Hopefully this program will encourage property owners to revitalize their buildings or work with the City to demolish and allow for future development. - Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler

After other missed deadlines and discussions in city meetings, the property was determined to be of no historical value. ERI Consulting Inc. has been put in charge of removing asbestos from the building followed by it's demolition. The project should be completed by the end of the year. The city will place a lien on the property to recoup some of the demolition costs.

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