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Army veteran demands answers after her Cleveland Heights home is demolished

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:18 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland Heights resident and Army veteran said she was blindsided after returning to her home only to find it demolished.

It was already an extra tough year for Lt. Col. Darlene Pride.

Last September, a fire ripped through her lifelong Cleveland Heights home in the 2300 block of Lee Road.

Pride was trapped on the second floor. She probably wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for several police officers rushing in to save her life.

That type of heroic act is one she had made countless times before while serving in the U.S. Army.

She said she spoke with an engineer and, after getting the going ahead, was moving forward to repair her family home while temporarily living elsewhere. But she never got that far.

“My neighbor three doors down called me and said your house is on the ground,” said Pride, who got that call Monday.

Pride said she rushed over only to find a pile of debris where her lifelong home once stood.

She told 19 News she demanded to see a demolition permit but said crews told her they didn’t have one with them.

“A Cleveland Heights representative from the housing department brought it later. They should’ve had the permit before they tore the house down,” said Pride.

Pride said she was blindsided by the demolition.

“They said it was a nuisance and that I didn’t do any repairs,” Pride said, now demanding answers from the Cleveland Heights Housing Department.

19 News called the Cleveland Heights Housing Department and left a message, asking for a comment on the demolition. We’re waiting for a callback.

This story is developing.

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