A soldier's home was demolished over alleged code violations while he was on active duty in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Jesus Jimenez has been embroiled in two major fights over the past seven years, the war on terror in the Middle East and one back home with Miami-Dade County in Florida.
Jesus Jimenez, 37, was in training for an upcoming deployment when his family home was demolished. Miami-Dade County officials rejected his plea to hold off on the home demolition until he could attempt to get the matter sorted out or made the ordered repairs.
The soldier's wife, children, mother-in-law, and hearing-impaired brother were living inside the Florida home when the demolition order was handed down. The family was permitted to retrieve some personal property out of the 1947 home before workers came to tear it down.
Sergeant Jimenez had some things to say about his home being demolished during an interview with Fox News.
"I didn't think they would go and demolish it. When the house came down, the county didn't have a court order. It was spur of the moment. I took down the list of things to do and asked if I would need permits for anything. The inspector said no. Everything they asked for as undoable. It was bringing the house up to modern-day code or it will be demolished. It made no sense to me. If I have to upgrade my house, my neighbors should be asked to upgrade their homes."The neighborhood features a vast majority of homes built during the 1940s and are reportedly in similar condition. The U.S. Army soldier's troubles with Miami-Dade County began in May of 2007. A code inspector determined there were violations on the property. Among the items noted were an uncovered electrical junction box, damaged door, deteriorated roof, and deteriorating porch beams. According to Jimenez, he was preparing to get the work done while getting ready for deployment but more citations were issued against the home that he feels made the repair work unreasonable.
The Jimenez ultimately hired an engineer to do the work but then Miami-Dade County officials reportedly deemed the code violations so extensive that it would be far better to simply start from scratch.
"The intention was to demolish it anyways," the staff sergeant said.
The soldier also accused the local officials of making the issue a personal attack instead of focusing on the alleged safety concerns at the home.
Miami-Dade officials have declined to offer detailed comments about demolition of the soldier's home, citing ongoing litigation. Local officials did claim that they gave Jesus-Jimenez enough time to do the repairs, citing four years and time in between deployments.
"It is my duty to remove individuals from structures which may cause a potential hazard to the safety and welfare of his family. That is why I cannot find a reasonable justification to allow the Jimenez family to continue to reside under these severe circumstances," Miami-Dad Building Chief Charlie Danger told the Miami Herald.
U.S. Judge Robert Scola Jr. ruled last week in favor of the soldier. Scola decided that the Florida county should have delayed the code violation proceedings against Jesus-Jimenez because he was on active duty overseas. The Jimenez family want the city of Miami to drop all liens and the $13,713 demolition and pay $395,000 to the family. Jimenez said he would agree to sell the property and two other neighboring homes they own as part of the deal. The soldier now lives in Texas.
[Image Via: Laura Jimenez/WFOR/WTSP News]
What do you think about the soldier's home being demolished while he was on active duty?