It took the city of Leesburg less than 10 minutes Friday to tear down an abandoned house and lift up an entire city block.
A mechanical excavator quickly ripped apart the crumbling, wood-sided house at 130 S. East St., the latest of several badly aged properties the city is destroying in voluntary cooperation with owners to combat urban blight, deter criminal activity and remove a safety hazard for residents.
Lake County Public Information Officer Robert Sargent said the program helps property owners because they would rather work with the city to get an abandoned home razed than have to pay to bring up the structure to code.
Leesburg has demolished four houses so far this year, including another one Wednesday at 816 Washington St.
Willie Douglas, a Leesburg native, who used to clean up the yard at 130 S. East St., said the house belonged to his godfather.