NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The demolition of the house at 1919 Holly street was such a cause for celebration, neighbors launched drones and whipped out cell phones to document the excavator that began to tear down walls last week.

“It’s so much better, yes! It feels so good,” said Kim VanDusen, who lives two houses down.

The now-demolished house is a significant victory for the street, as in the year since the tornado, neighbors have complained to codes about rodents living in the abandoned property.

While neighbors worked to rebuild and repair their damaged homes, they say the house began to drain on morale.

“Emotionally for me, it was really hard. To just look at that every time we came home,” VanDusen said.

After becoming frustrated with the lack of action taken by codes, neighbors contacted News4 Investigates.

Following our stories, metro codes issued a demolition order on March 12. They set a hearing date for April 15 for the owner to appear.

Emily Lamb, assistant director of metro codes, wrote in an email, “It appears (the owner) went ahead and demolished it before the hearing; however, we sent an inspector out to view the property today to confirm.”

VanDusen said none of the neighbors liked having to file the complaints or ask that someone’s property be torn down, but she hoped it would help the street begin to heal.

“I think you guys telling our story really put pressure on the city. It just feels good. Feels like we’re going forward,” VanDusen said.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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