(EDITOR'S NOTE: In the newspaper's Friday print edition we have an incorrect photo of the house involved. We apologize for any confusion this may cause and a photo of the correct home, seen here, will be in Saturday's edition.)
A family of four people and several animals were removed from a flea-infested Decatur home on Thursday morning by police, city and health department officials.
"Unsanitary conditions, very unsanitary. A severe flea infestation," said Terry Smith, head of the Adams County Health Department.
The home at 104 S. 11th St. has been occupied by two adults and their two children. The children were removed by Child Protective Services (CPS) while the mother and father were given some time to remove clothing and a few other items before moving to the home of a relative.
"We are allowing them to get those things out, then in a short time the place will be condemned," Smith said early Thursday afternoon. A couple of hours later, the home was officially condemned.
Seven cats, five kittens, two dogs and one dead dog were removed by officials.
Smith said the home had been condemned twice before and the family moved out. After getting it cleaned up, they were allowed to move back in.
The mother and father are buying the home on contract from another Decatur resident.
Smith said the animals were taken to Habel Animal Hospital. They will be be cleaned up — at the expense of the health department — then taken to the Adams County Animal Shelter southeast of Monroe.
The removal of the people and animals came about as a result of regular checkups on the children made by CPS. A CPS representative doing so on Thursday morning discovered the unsanitary conditions and called city police,
with officer Jim Franze responding. Franze contacted Roger Gage, head of the city building and zoning department, and Smith at the health department.
Adams County Health Officer Dr. Mike Ainsworth also has been involved.