SHAMOKIN - Major demolition began Saturday on a dilapidated property on Mulberry Street which the owner said was purchased by mistake at a county judicial sale in August 2011.

Keith Musser, who previously said the county should not be allowed to sell properties that are in deplorable condition, was ordered Nov. 25 by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III to raze his four-story double at 624 W. Mulberry Street and

remove debris within three months.

Musser had said he did not realize the property he purchased for approximately $1,300 had been scheduled for demolition by the city. The rear of the home collapsed Sept. 22, bringing Shamokin Fire Bureau personnel to the scene.

Musser had been fined $1,500 by the city for allowing the property to become a public nuisance, but Gembic put off rendering a verdict for 30 days to see if Musser was compliant in having the building torn down as soon as possible.

If Musser complies, his fines on five citations issued by Shamokin Code Enforcement Officer Rick Bozza and Cpl. Bryan Primerano will be forgiven. Bozza and Primerano did not object to Gembic's order.

Damage to neighboring home?

During demolition Saturday, a piece of the fourth-floor attic fell onto the roof of an adjoining home at 622 W. Mulberry St., owned and occupied at the time by 92-year-old Verna Jurevicz.

Jurevicz's daughter, Verna Campbell, said her mother was in a bedroom directly below where the debris landed, but was not injured. Campbell said someone should have informed her mother that demolition was going to commence.

Workers removed debris from the roof that appeared dirty, but without damage. Campbell said she had yet to inspect the inside of her mother's home for damage.Larry Deklinski/Staff Photo