BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo man has filed suit against the city, claiming it wrongfully tore down his home and ignored a judge’s order to stay its demolition.
James Brown lived at 858 Jefferson Avenue in a three-story building that had a business on the ground floor and apartment above.
That was until April 9, 2018, when a fire swept through the property.
According to his lawsuit, Brown had been told by his insurance company the building was still structurally sound and able to be repaired.
However, he says that after he received his insurance settlement, he went to check on the place in September of 2019, only to find firefighters “using the property as practice, causing more damage to the floors, walls, ceilings, and roof.”
Further, he claims that when he objected to the firemen cutting holes in the roof, he was told they were allowed to be on his property and there was nothing he could do about it.
Brown claims he notified the city right away that there had never been a hearing held to determine if the structure could be saved.
But by the time he returned the next day, it had a condemnation notice on the door.
His lawsuit further claims that after he called city hall to try and get his property taken off the demolition list, he went to court and obtained a temporary restraining order against its demolition.
But he further claims to have proof that the city’s law department advised a demolition contractor to ignore the judge’s instructions and proceed demolition in violation of the court order.
Jones is seeking an unspecified amount for the loss of the property and for the living expenses he has incurred by having to reside elsewhere.