Clairton officials await report on roach-infested home
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 4:06 a.m.
Clairton officials are awaiting verification from the Allegheny County Health Department that an insect-infested property along Waddell Avenue now is bug free.
Code enforcement officer George Glagola said he contacted the department in December regarding 745 Waddell Ave., a building condemned by the city because of a cockroach crises in early September.
“I didn't get any response,” Glagola said on Tuesday. “I hope (to), so that we can put it in our file and zip everything up.”
Cindy Nehila, 32, and David Nehila, 24, and their four children were removed from what authorities described as a garbage-filled, roach-infested residence.
City manager Howard Bednar and an exterminator from Budget Pest Control visited the property on Sept. 2. The family was ordered to remove everything from the house. A Dumpster was placed outside the home on Sept. 4, and the building was condemned on Sept. 5.
Bednar said he contacted ACHD that month.
“They were slow to act on this,” Bednar said of ACHD.
Clairton police charged the Nehilas with four counts of endangering the welfare of children. Allegheny County's Office of Children, Youth and Families became involved, and the Nehilas were ordered to attend parenting classes in October.
Attorney William James Helzlouer said his clients pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, and other charges were withdrawn.
The Nehilas also were ordered to pay court costs.
Helzlouer said they cooperated with CYF, and are continuing their parenting classes.
“Everything worked out. Everyone was happy,” Helzlouer said.
Budget Pest Control sprayed the house at least twice.
Glagola said the property owner, Guido Benack, was notified about the infestation, but was not officially cited because of his family's cooperation in addressing the problem.
Guy Benack, Guido's son, said at council's September meeting that “I'll do anything it takes to resolve this problem.”
The owner contracted Allegheny Pest Control to treat the house, with the last reported treatment in December, Councilwoman Kathy Tachoir said.
Neighbors' homes were sprayed for cockroaches when the bugs began to spread along Waddell Avenue.
Maria Campano of 741 Waddell Ave. and Marie Robinson of 734 Waddell Ave. used Budget Pest Control. They said they spent hundreds of dollars for chemicals and treatments, and believe they will have to spray again in the warmer months.
“We're just praying we don't see (cockroaches) again,” Robinson said. “We will get Budget back just for our peace of mind.”
“It's cold. It's very common that these types of insects will go dormant,” Campano said. “I have 20 roach traps outside my house. We still want the house torn down, but I think it's up to the owner to do.”
In September, Council unanimously authorizeD city solicitor J. Deron Gabriel to investigate all legal remedies available to the city for its actions in dealing with the infestation. The city has yet to take any other legal actions regarding the house.
“We'll wait till it's all done to make sure (there are no more problems),” Bednar said. “It's ultimately the landlord's responsibility to deal with it.”
Glagola said the building will remain condemned until he does a through inspection and the landlord applies for an occupancy permit.
Neither action is expected without health department reports.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Corpus Christi parishioners deliver giving tree gifts
- Service project culminates in local children’s party
- Families receive food, gifts from Salvation Army
- Versailles to maintain tax rate
- County redevelopment authority OKs transactions that affect McKeesport, Homestead and Braddock locations
- West Mifflin Area organizations help fuel toy drive
- PUC rejects Elizabeth Bridge appeal
- Clairton students debut Holiday Reading Program
- ‘Fans Rule’ as Globetrotters return
- School scores run the gamut
- Revitalized Duquesne watchdog group finds new home, leadership