Bismarck neighborhood dealing with controversy over burned house

BISMARCK, N.D. - A quiet Bismarck neighborhood was flooded with controversy when the home on the corner of the 1400 block of South 3rd Street caught fire in November.

Spencer Norton was charged with arson, and police say there's a video of him leaving 62 seconds behind his fiancé and homeowner Yvette Howell, who was later charged for tampering with evidence.

Now, the home stands vacated, and recently someone marked it with the words "Spencer is Innocent." Neighbors say it makes their community look tacky.

"It's sad to see that it's sitting like that. It really needs to get torn down," said neighbor Gerlynn Gabel.

Gabel says many in the community want to see change and hope the city can do something about it.

"We're concerned that it is going to sit like that for months if not years. We want it taken care of. There's going to be a rodent issue. It devalues everybody's property in the area. It's terrible and we shouldn't have to look at it forever," said Gabel.

City spokesperson Gloria David says the city does not have a role unless it is a public health or safety concern.

Norton's trial is scheduled for the third week in May.

Howell's is in court next month.