A Closer Look at the Citra Home
The Citra fire that claimed the lives of five children last night has left a community in shock.
But a man who lived in the house previous to the Jordan family said he was shocked by the tragedy but not surprised the house caught on fire.
The Fire Marshal investigating how the fire started said Tuesday that it will difficult to determine the exact cause of the fire because of the condition of the home.
But Perry Hickman, who lived in that very same house from 2003 to 2004, told us he could rarely plug in more than one electrical device into any plug in the house without blowing a fuse. He also told us the outside heater would constantly blow a fuse. He resorted to using an indoor heater.
Hickman, who had signed a "rent-to-own" agreement with Beyer, said the owner was difficult to reach and did not respond to his many calls complaining of the poor electrical condition of the home.
The Better Business Bureau rated Beyer's rental property business, Otto E. Beyer Enterprises Inc., giving it an "F."
In the last 36 months complaints have been filed. One such complaint lists, misrepresentations of the product or service and high pressure sales practices.
Court records show that Otto E. Beyer and Beyer Enterprises are now in bankruptcy proceedings.
Beyer owns several homes in Marion, Lake and Putnam Counties.
In Marion County alone, records show Beyer has 17 cases of foreclosure, seven of which are still open.
There are no serious code enforcement complaints issued in Marion County for any of the properties owned by Beyer. But in Lake County he had 15 code violations including a leaking roof, sewer issues, and electrical issues.
We tried to contact Otto E. Beyer or a manager at his company, but our messages were not responded.
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