Business Owner Feels Kermit Fire Could Have Been Prevented

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

KERMIT - Tuesday night's blaze in Kermit left Business Owner Billie Sharp's business in ashes.

"She lost her entire store," Sgt. Richard Abalos, with the Kermit Police Department, said.

"My old paintings were in there, but I'm just glad no one got hurt," Business Owner, Billie Sharp said.

Sharp believes the fire could have easily been prevented; she says she filed complaints with the city to demolish the abandoned building next door to her business.

"Our city ordinance offers letters to the business owners of the building, they received it on the 3rd, we got it on the 14th, and we have to allow at least 10 days before we can do something," Abalos said.

Sgt. Abalos also said there are steps to take before the city can just demolish abandoned buildings, and sometimes those steps can take a while.

"What happens is we have to send a letter out to the building owners, but a lot of them moved out of Kermit and a lot of buildings are now left abandoned," Sgt. Abalos said.