'Buried House' Sparks Rising Concern in Little Rock Neighborhood

Neighbor Worries Lead-Based Paint Sits Underground

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Concern and suspicion grows in a south Little Rock neighborhood after some say they're living next to a buried house.

A woman who lives next to the empty lot on Vance Street spoke to us anonymously. She showed us the area, which sits right next to Interstate 30.

"Like, you see, it's sinking in now," the woman pointed out on Tuesday.

"How far is that going to go?"

Blades of grass poke through the deserted lot. Neighbors point to an uneven surface and crumbled brick. They this left-behind land serves as a roof to a buried house with health risks living inside.

"If you need me to go get a backhoe to dig it up, we can," the woman who lives next door says.

She says she saw crews demolish the condemned home years ago and then cover it with dirt and soil. She believes the buried house and its lead-based paint job create a dangerous mix underground.

"We don't know if its contaminated around here or not," the woman says. 

"We don't know how many houses been buried around here."

The woman says she contacted the city. She called and then e-mailed but didn't hear anything back until recently when a code enforcement officer responded saying the city was exploring options into excavating what could be underground at the property.

"I don't know who can be held accountable for it," Panchita Brown says. She also lives in the neighborhood.

Brown expressed concern for residents and disappointment with the city.

"[City officials] try to treat you like you're ignorant or you're lying."

Code enforcement told us they plan to get to the bottom of it, checking for any past violations.

"All they have to do is come out here with a backhoe,' Brown says.

"We'll all stand around here and see what they're going to find. It's not going to be King Tut's treasure. It's going to be an old, rusty house."

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