HUSTONVILLE — The state fire marshal has ruled that city officials have the right to repair or demolish the Hustonville Haunted House.
The historic building on Main Street has been a point of contention for months between building owner Paul Gray and Hustonville city officials.
In February, a portion of the wall collapsed and city officials closed off a section of Old Liberty Road in an effort to protect residents.
As of Monday, that road closure was still in effect.
Fire Chief Jimmy Lane, with the support of former Mayor Marc Spivey, served Gray with an order to remedy a fire hazard on July 17.
Gray, assisted by attorney Daniel Elliott of Danville, appealed the matter to the state fire marshal’s office.
Lane, Spivey, Lincoln County Attorney Daryl Day, Gray, Elliott and Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction Hearing Officer Mike Powers met Oct. 10 in Frankfort to try to resolve the situation.
On Oct. 18, Powers ruled that Lane acted properly in deeming the Hustonville Haunted House a fire hazard.
Elliott appealed the order Nov. 2.
State Fire Marshal William W. Swope denied the appeal Nov. 5, stating that the property is a fire hazard and that Lane along with other city officials have the legal right to remedy the property.
“We are obviously disappointed and disagree with the decision reached in the case,” Elliott said. “At the same time, we also respect the decision.”
Day said the next step is for him to meet with Lane and recently appointed Mayor David Peyton to determine how the city wishes to remedy the problem.
Elliott said Gray intends to work with city officials to come up with a mutually beneficial resolution to the situation.
“(Gray) remains hopeful that he and his business will now be treated fairly by the new mayor and administration in Hustonville,” Elliott said.