The house at the center of a murder case in Hutchinson is getting a second chance.
"You're reminded every day, walking out your door and you see it," said Aaron Miller, who lives across the street. "And it's been an eyesore and it's a way to heal and move on."
Last fall police say a 14-year-old boy set fire to the home to kill his mother and sister. The home has been unlivable since then, standing empty for five months.
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"They were struggling with the insurance," said Jay Mitzner, who's buying the home from the family of Sam Vonachen, accused of murdering his mother and sister. Vonachen's father wanted to get rid of the home.
"(He) contacted us through the city to tear it down afterwards. And I took a look at it and thought the house was in such great structural shape that we could restore it," Mitzner said.
So Mitzner agreed to buy the home and fix it up, instead of tearing it down.
Already much of the main floor is down to the bared studs. Dust from the demolition coats everything in a grey haze. The workers wear masks to avoid breathing it in while they work. The plan is to do in the rest of the house what they've already done in this room, rip it out to the very base boards and then rebuilt it.
"From the plumbing and the electrical and everything in between," said Mitzner.
It's a big job, but Mitzner said they're already ahead of the schedule that would put the renovated home up for sale in May.
"We're bringing something back to life," Mitzner said.
Some neighbors wanted the home torn down. But others, like Aaron Miller, say it's better to rebuild than to leave an empty plot in the middle of their neighborhood.
"You've just got to find the right person to be able to kind of look past that and see it as a new home instead of as a place where something awful happened," said Miller.
And Mitzner has plans for the project to keep helping the community. Some of the profits from the sale of the home will go to a local church youth group.
"We're not sure what made this happen," he said, referring to the deadly fire allegedly set by a 14-year-old boy. "But maybe this will help prevent that in the future."
Sam Vonachen faces two charges of first degree murder for the deaths of his mother and sister. He's currently at the Bob Johnson's Youth Detention Facility under-going psychiatric evaluation to see if he's competent to stand trial. If he is he could be tried as an adult.