In November 2011, an upscale home in an upscale Warrick County neighborhood was gutted by fire. It took a fight from neighbors to have the charred shell torn down. However, their concerns about what remains of the property still linger.
On November 11, 2011, a home on Overland Drive in the Fall Creek subdivision went up in flames. The fire was so intense it damaged two homes nearby. Warrick County Sheriff's deupties suspected the fire was caused by a meth lab explosion and reported finding evidence at the scene. Deputies arrested the homeowners, Raymond 'Todd' and Megan McCutcheon but the two weren't formally charged until a grand jury indicted them in July 2013. The charred remains of the home were torn down in the summer of 2012. Even though nothing remains of the house except for the concrete slab and a mailbox, neighbors still have some lingering concerns.
"I'm a naturalized US citizen and it was very strange to go through this case because I thought everything worked so well here," said Anatolie Stepamov, a neighbor.
On the morning of the fire, Stepamov was on his way home from work when he saw smoke billowing off in the distance. After the flames were extinguished, questions about the circumstances surrounding the fire began to swirl.
"It's unusual to hear these kinds of stories [about the fire allegedly being caused by a meth lab] but after a while people were asking questions," Stepamov said. "What happened? Is [Todd McCutcheon] in jail? Why is the house still here?"
The house wouldn't be torn down until the summer of 2012 after neighbors held a public meeting to air their concerns with county leaders. The demolition order was drafted when the insurance company finally settled. These days, the weeds continue to grow, the mail no longer comes and neither do the McCutcheons. In July 2013, they were indicted on meth-related charges. They have a trial date set for September, nearly three years after the fire happened.
"It's very unpleasant. As you can see this is a very nice neighborhood," Stepamov said. "It's very unusual but it has a positive sidebecause my daughter loves to come here and run sometimes. She think's it's awesome."
The McCutcheons still own the property according to property records. But their future in Fall Creek is much less clear. Stepamov hopes for a new set of neighbors to fill in the hole he's grown accustomed to.