Family ordered out of condemned home


LIVERMORE FALLS – Roger LaPlante and his sons have until June 3 to vacate their condemned home on Birch Street. After that, they can return to the house to collect their possessions, but only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. They cannot stay there.

By June 11, whatever LaPlante has left behind could become the property of the town.

All of this was decided Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. The family was ordered out. The town may get a writ of possession on Wednesday, June 2, officially taking ownership of the house, according to court clerks.

After that, the LaPlantes could be charged with trespassing if they linger around what was once their home.

The building in which they live has been condemned and is scheduled to be demolished. Town officials said an inspection of the house earlier in the month determined that the building is not safe for occupancy. It could collapse at any time.

“Please note that I do not reach such a conclusion lightly – it is a conclusion that has ramifications for the whole community,” structural engineer Jason Potter concluded in a letter dated May 14. “My calculations indicate that the roof, as currently constructed, does not have the strength required for proper self support. You can see visual evidence of this in the sag of the roof.”

The walls are unstable, one built upon another without lateral ties, Potter said. Wall sheathing is not properly attached, there are too few nails and inconsistent spacing. Pieces of the house have been known to fall off, at least once coming into contact with wiring.

At one point during the process of condemning the house, the town had offered to put LaPlante up in a motel room while he searches for another home. It was not known Friday if LaPlante intended to accept the offer.

Calls to his home were unsuccessful, a recorded voice advising that the telephone number is no longer in service. No one answered knocks on the door in the early evening.