(Cleveland) - Ariel Castro's home is now a pile of rubble. The Seymour Avenue home was torn down in about an hour Wednesday morning.
Electricity and other utilities were shut off Tuesday and removed. Crews struck the first blow around 7:15 a.m. to the cheers of onlookers.
Survivor Michelle Knight was on hand, and members of the Gina DeJesus family broke down in tears as the first chunk was torn from the roof.
By the end of the day the lot should be planted with plants and trees.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the home last week during Castro's sentencing and demolition work will begin Wednesday at 6:30 a.m.
Councilman Brian Cummins tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 that residents will be relieved to have the house gone, but the memories will take longer to heal. Many have been offered psychological counseling in the wake of the rescues three months ago.
Cummins also praises the justice system for the swift resolution of the case, which allows everyone involved to move on.
“The Land Bank is pleased to have been available to assist law enforcement officials in this matter,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos. Frangos said that once the house is demolished, the Land Bank will look to the local Council representative, the community and the leadership of the Prosecutor regarding the future disposition and reuse of the property.
The Land Bank says it will have the home demolished in one day and have all the debris carted away to a reclamation site where it will be shredded and pulverized. Independence Excavating is doing the demolition at no charge.
Anthony and Angie Castro returned to their imprisoned father's Seymour Avenue home Monday morning to remove some personal items and family effects from the house.
The Castro kids removed some guitars, momentos of their deceased mother and pictures from the house. The home is where Ariel Castro kept Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive for more than a decade.
Listen to Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins' chat with WTAM's Darren Toms about what people on Seymour Avenue have gone through, and what the future could hold:
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Castro was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole plus 1,000. He pleaded guilty to 937 counts in the case.
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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM 1100.)