In the 18 years he's lived on Kilbourne Avenue in Blendon Township, Jon Oldfield has seen three families occupy the old house down the street from his home.

In the 18 years he's lived on Kilbourne Avenue in Blendon Township, Jon Oldfield has seen three families occupy the old house down the street from his home.

"The interior was real nice. The outside was real shabby" when the first family Oldfield remembers lived there, he said. "The second family put a new roof on it."

Four months after the third family moved in about five years ago, the inside of the house was gutted by fire on Christmas Eve, Oldfield said, and the home has sat vacant ever since, drawing complaints of neighbors. "When people were living there, it wasn't an eyesore. People were coming and going, and it looked like a house," Oldfield said.

The home at 2835 Kilbourne Ave. was demolished to the sound of applause Monday morning as part of a partnership between Blendon Township and Franklin County.

Neighbor Lou Horn said she was glad to see the property go because it's been a problem for the neighborhood for the 10 years she's lived there.

"It's great," Horn said of the demolition. "It's been a huge eyesore, and it's been a place where kids want to hang out."

Blendon Township code enforcement director Bryan Rhoads said the property has drawn complaints from neighbors for at least 15 years.

Rhoads began looking for a way to deal with the blighted home since he took his job last December and put together a list of problem properties in the township for Franklin County.

The vacant Kilbourne Avenue home has attracted drug users, squatters and rodents in the past, Rhoads said.

"It was a mess," he said. "It's a horrible sight, of course. We've also had problems in the past with drug activity."

Rhoads has worked with Franklin County Treasurer Ed Leonard's office over the past few months to see the house demolished.

Leonard's office worked to track down the deed holder on the property; its last purchaser ended up in foreclosure. Since that time, Leonard said, the property has fallen into the hands of three different mortgage companies, making it difficult to find the right people to talk to about addressing problems.

Once the mortgage company that holds the deed was found, the county was able to move forward with tearing down the house.

Leonard's office put up the majority of the $26,000 asbestos abatement and demolition cost. He said he hopes to use that to be able convince the deed holder to turn the property over to Franklin County's land bank program.

Leonard said his office can ask the company to turn over the property instead of having the $26,000 added to the property's tax assessment.

"We know we're not going to recover the demolition cost, but we can use that to get the title," Leonard said.

The title would then be turned over to Blendon Township, allowing the township to market and sell the property so a new home or homes could be erected.

The township and the county teamed up to demolish a home in July at 3545 Makassar Drive. That land was subsequently sold and a home is well under way to being built on the property, Rhoads said.

However, he said he knows there's work to be done before the township reaches that point with the Kilbourne Avenue property.

"It takes a while for that process," he said.

In the meantime, just having a blighted and vacant home taken from a neighborhood has a great impact, Leonard said.

"Just one property can drag down an entire neighborhood," he said. "By eliminating an eyesore like this, we can help improve people's quality of life in a very direct way.