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Trailer illegally parked on El Paso County road finally removed

November 10, 2017 Updated: November 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm
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El Paso County Sheriff's deputies watch as an illegally parked mobile home is hitched up and removed from the street outside Cheyenne Mountain Estates in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The home was moved to the area with the intent of moving into the Estates but was parked in the street outside after failing to meet requirements.

An illegally parked trailer that Cheyenne Mountain Estates residents have been calling an eyesore and fire hazard for months was finally removed Friday.

"This is such a great day," resident Jacque Hoftyzer said.

Hoftyzer largely championed efforts to have the trailer moved after its occupants started lighting fires this fall in an improperly capped stove, which she feared would catch fire to the adjacent field or her home, sitting just feet away behind a wood fence.

She, and at least one other resident in the 220-lot estates, reported seeing flames and embers shooting out of the top of the wood stove pipe on more than one occasion. Some of those times, the Southwest Highway 115 Volunteer Fire Department was called to investigate.

The fires must have continued because sheriff Lt. J.D. Ross said Friday that he recently threatened the owner, Dawn McKinney, with a charge of fourth-degree arson if she lit another one. She already has been cited with obstructing a roadway, he said, though that was not reflected in court records.

"There's no spark arrester," Ross said of the stovepipe, which sits just off the roof of the trailer. "It's just too dry out there. We can't take a chance."

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies watch as a worked from Junk King leaves with items removed from an illegally parked mobile home before the Sheriff's department removed the trailer from the street outside Cheyenne Mountain Estates in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The home was moved to the area with the intent of moving into the Estates but was parked in the street outside after failing to meet requirements. 

McKinney hauled the home to Piute Road in July with the intent of living in Cheyenne Mountain Estates but was denied when the structure failed to meet requirements, Ross previously said. Without money to haul it away, McKinney left the trailer parked on the county road and continued living out of it, despite having no electricity or running water, he said.

For weeks the office "tried really hard to work with her," even paying to clean out the trailer and move it, but when McKinney couldn't meet deadlines "we could no longer leave it there," Ross said. "It was a danger and a hazard."

The trailer is being taken to the county's impound lot until McKinney either finds a legal place to put it or forfeits the property, Ross said.

Residents were just happy to see it go.

"This is way better than Christmas," Hoftyzer said. "There's nothing better than the county responding and taking it seriously."

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Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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