8 years after deadly Lago Lindo house explosion, property remains vacant & neglected

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WATCH ABOVE: Eight years after a deadly Edmonton house explosion, neighbours are growing frustrated with the vacant property. Kim Smith explains – Aug 24, 2018

It’s been eight years since a deadly house explosion rocked the Lago Lindo neighbourhood, and local residents are concerned about the lack of attention being paid to the north Edmonton property.

“It’s an eyesore and a constant reminder. Something should be done,” said Norm Winter, whose 26-year-old son, Brad Winter, was killed in the blast.

READ MORE: Lago Lindo explosion ruled homicide

In 2010, Dwayne Poirier killed his common-law wife, Cathie Heard, before removing a cap from the natural gas line, sparking the massive explosion that destroyed one home and damaged 40 others.

Neighbours Craig Huber and Winter’s son, Brad, died from blast injuries.

READ MORE: Two victims identified in Edmonton house explosion

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Norm Winter has since rebuilt on his son’s property, which sits next door to the vacant explosion site. Development has also occurred all around the site, yet the lot remains empty and overrun with weeds.

“They built a whole new subdivision right behind it. It’s all built up 82 Street. What’s the problem here?” Winter expressed.

“The whole neighbourhood revitalized again but there’s one open sore and as you can see for yourself, it’s just weed-infested.”

Winter said much of the work, including snow removal in the winter, has fallen on the neighbours.

“I’m 62. I’m getting old. I don’t need to be cleaning somebody else’s walk.”

READ MORE: Fatality report into Lago Lindo explosion addresses domestic violence and mental health

There is no obligation to build on the site, and maintenance of the property remains the responsibility of its owners. However, Global News has learned the land title still lists Poirier and Heard as the property owners.

It’s unclear why the land has not been passed along to beneficiaries. One real estate lawyer describes the situation as odd.

“It’s quirky and I think driven by tragedy. Eight years later, you have an unusual set of circumstances,” Shane Parker said.

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“If taxes aren’t paid, the municipality has the ability to eventually have the property sold at public auction.”

READ MORE: ‘I can’t believe I took a life!’: Lago Lindo fatality inquiry uncovers shocking Poirier email

The City of Edmonton confirms the property is in the process of going to tax collection, which means for now, the city is responsible for maintenance.

The city said a contractor was deployed in July to deal with the grass and weeds and they’re expected to follow up again early next week.

The fatal house explosion in the Lago Lindo neighbourhood on June 20, 2010. Global News
The June 2010 explosion in the Lago Lindo neighbourhood in Edmonton. Global News
Fatal house explosion in Lago Lindo neighbourhood in Edmonton, June 2010. Global News

With files from Kim Smith, Global News.