8/18 UPDATE: Freeway Investments in Auburn, Maine says it sent a letter to Codes Compliance last week promising to have the debris removed by September 20.
A landscaping company has reportedly also been hired to keep the grass cuts to ensure no additional code violations.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.

NEWPORT NEWS -- Residents living near the burned ruins of a Newport News church complain that the city is taking too long to clear the site.

Last April, a massive fire destroyed Mt. Gilead Deliverance Tabernacle on Ellen Road. The cause of the fire was never determined.

Parishoners mourn loss of Newport News church

Residents say the debris is an eyesore and when it rains, it stinks.

Victoria Brown has lived in the neighborhood all her life and says when it gets muggy it makes the smell even worse.

'The burn smell is really thick in the air,' said Brown.

Roy Narron lives across the street and claims he has called the city to express his concerns.

'It needs to be torn down,' said Narron.

Director of Codes Compliance for Newport News Harold Roach said the property is owned by an investment group in Maine. They told the city they plan to clear the site, but the work has been delayed pending a ruling from their insurance company, Roach said.

In the meantime, the city will be soliciting bids for demolition in case the owners fail act, Roach said.

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