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NFL Star’s Mold-Ridden Mansion to be Burned Down

Source: Daily Mail

Sometimes, no matter how much money you have, you can’t escape mold.

A 14,000-square-foot palace built by a former NFL player is set to be burned to the ground as part of a firefighter training exercise.

The luxurious estate in Gretna, Nebraska, was home to ex-Buffalo Bills safety Rod Kush and was once worth $2.6 million.

But the ‘finest mansion in all of Sarpy County’ will soon be set alight room-by-room by the Gretna Volunteer Fire Department, after being overrun with mold.

‘It would cost more to mitigate the mold damage than the house is worth,’ Sarpy County Assessor Dan Pittman told the Omaha World-Herald.

Mr Kush, who also owned a chain of small furniture stores, completed the lavish 17-room home in 1997 and sold it after 10 years, when he ran into financial troubles.

The property, which sits on 35 acres, changed hands a couple of times before it was snapped up by a developer for just $612,000 in 2010.

But last month Mr Pittman said the mansion is now worthless. He said a leaky roof was never fixed and mold soon took over the house.

‘At one time there was nothing like it in Sarpy County, with that big staircase like something out of ‘Gone with the Wind,” Mr Pittman told the newspaper.

‘But it got to the point where there was standing water in the house and it wasn’t safe to enter it without a mask.’

The palace was built between 1996 and 1997 by the Omaha native whose NFL career lasted from 1980 to 1986.

Mr Kush initially put the property on the market for $3.4 million in 2003. He finally sold it for $1.6 million in December 2008 to FRK Development of the Elkhorn area.

After a year, FRK Development donated the property to Catholic Charities, which planned to open a 16-bed substance-abuse treatment centre on the site but a lack of funds meant it never happened.

A date hasn’t been set for the controlled burn, but the firefighters are planning to wait for some rain or snow to make sure the fire doesn’t get out of hand.

The area is currently in the middle of a drought and Mr Buethe said he was concerned a blaze could spread if the surrounding area was too dry.