House from deadly December fire now has buyer - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

House from deadly December fire now has buyer

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – There is new information on the fire-ravaged house that marks the scene of a family tragedy.

Back on December 21st, 2010, a woman and young child were killed by a late night fire on Wren's Nest Road in Bon Air. Ever since, neighbors have been asking questions that, finally, have an answer.

All of the neighbors we spoke to feel sorry for the family and for what happened. But as the months have gone on they've all been wondering: Why is this house still standing, and what's being done about it?  Well, now there's some encouraging news that a buyer has finally been found.

It is the first house on a busy corner, and there are always questions. Rob Clements lives just two doors down.

"I know we have friends that come periodically and ask, 'Well what's the story behind the house?'" Clements said.

The story, is that nine months ago, a fire killed the woman and young child who lived there. For all of the winter, spring and now late summer, the blackened house has stood there unchanged.

Neighbors, including Rebecca Muminovic, try to avoid looking at it.

"This is the main street through the neighborhood, and every time you drive by it  you see that house, and it's a very sad reminder for everyone," Muminovic said.

Only Kenneth Layne survived the fire. He lived at the house, but the only time we've ever seen him is when he ran away from our camera at the Chesterfield courthouse last month. Tuesday, the question of what to do with his house was back in court. We found out Layne turned over control to his stepdaughter, Cassandra Johnson.

Johnson told a judge that there's finally a contract with an unspecified person to buy the house and make it look like new. It's the news this neighborhood has been waiting for.

"You won't really forget what happened there, but it would be nice not to have to be reminded on a daily basis  that two people lost their lives there," Clements said.

"It needs to be rebuilt, and hopefully another loving family can move in and have a wonderful life," Muminovic said.

According to the court, the sale is expected to close on the house in the next two weeks. After that, the buyer will have 20 days to get started on the work to fix it up.

The house was cited for code violations, but a judge agreed to effectively dismiss the case if the sale and improvements are completed as planned.

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