Homeowner Living Next To Flooded Abandoned Building Gets Results - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Homeowner Living Next To Flooded, Abandoned Building Gets Results

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PHILADELPHIA -

FOX 29 gets results for a Philadelphia homeowner living next to an abandoned house with a flooded basement.

The hidden lake on the 3800 block of Brandywine Street in Philadelphia's Mantua section is heard before it is seen.

And when you pull aside a board covering a basement window frame of the abandoned home at 3841 Brandywine, there you see it: water gushing from a broken, half-inch copper pipe.

"I just didn't want it to seep in," said Sheila Giddings, the homeowner next door. "I have a lot of stuff in the basement."

Giddings says she helped police catch thieves stealing copper pipes from the basement next door, several weeks ago.

"Then, later on," she says, "I was sitting outside and I heard, sh-sh-sh-sh! And I looked and all this water was coming, and I've been calling the water company ever since."

Soon after FOX 29's Bruce Gordon arrived to investigate, an inspector with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections pulled up. He was checking out a separate complaint about the abandoned house.

When Gordon showed him the basement lake -- complete with floating trash -- he quickly called his supervisor and reached out to the Philadelphia Water Department.

Gordon called as well and, within minutes, a crew was on the scene.

They made their way to the basement and crimped off the broken end of the pipe to stop the water flow.

Then, a second crew arrived to break up the street so they could disconnect the water laterals leading from the water main to the abandoned house, which ensures that the flooding won't happen again.

Giddings' reaction to the end of the waterworks?

"Thank God. Thank God. Thank FOX 29."

Gordon reminded her that L&I and the Water Department had come through, too, but Giddings was insistent: "I was calling the Water Department for three weeks. And until I called you guys, that's when they came out."

L&I sealed up that abandoned building in March 2010 but, clearly, vandals were still getting inside.

The commissioner promises Gordon that his crews will be back out on Brandywine Street re-sealing the building on Thursday.

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