Tree grows inside vacant home in North Philadelphia

- A tree growing inside a vacant home on the 2400 block of N. 16th Street in North Philadelphia is causing concern for some residents.

Hasool Carroll is a Dallas Cowboys fan, but that's not his biggest problem. No, that would be the house right around the corner from the home Carroll shares with his mother.

"Bricks coming out here, you can see the crack coming under the window," says Carroll, listing for FOX 29's Bruce Gordon the problems with the neighboring home.

But it's what's up top of that long-vacant house up near the roofline that has Carroll sweating.

"The tree is coming out of the wall," says Carroll. 

A tree?

Growing from inside the house?

"Yup," says Carroll, "Growing inside the house."

That's right, what was probably once a weed has grown into a 30-foot tall tree that has pushed its way through the outer brick wall of the house at 1539 W. York.  The mortar is missing and the wall is bowing out in the direction of the Carrolls' home and its brand new rear extension.

"We can't cook out back here," says Carroll. "We can't have friends back here, my kids can't come back here. I'm so scared of the home falling and someone's going to get hurt!"

Carroll says it's not clear who owns the "treehouse" since it's been empty for so long. 

Gordon couldn't track down the owners either, since their contact information on the city's property website links to the vacant home. Carroll and his mother have reached out to the city of Philadelphia and the Department of Licenses and Inspections labeled the home "unsafe" back in June.
But nothing's happened since then-- unless you consider the continued trash dumping.

"Your name came up," said Carroll to Gordon. "I called you because I see the type of work that y'all actually do."

Gordon snapped some photos of the wobbly wall and send them directly to L&I. This place is an accident waiting to happen and with heavy storms expected this weekend.

"I think a bad rainstorm would take it down, " says Carroll. "The bricks are so weak!"

Gordon had not heard back from the city by late afternoon Monday, but will keep up the pressure.


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