What to Know
- Cops have responded to the abandoned mansion 40 times since 2011 for reports ranging from drugs to vandalism
- The home is still owned by David Findel, a once high-flying banker who was convicted of mortgage fraud in 2011 and sentenced to five years
- Findel has told NBC 4 New York that he wants to sell the property, but a legal battle over insurance payments stands in the way
An overnight fire gutted an abandoned mansion in Colts Neck, New Jersey, that, despite becoming the subject of internet fame last year, had long dogged police in the wealthy neighborhood.
Dramatic photos taken by volunteer firefighters showed incredible flames as the blaze consumed the 20,000-square-foot building on Cedar Street.
No injuries were reported in the blaze, and the cause of the fire at the home -- once valued at around $8 million -- is under investigation.
The vacant, graffiti-marred mansion became an internet sensation in September when a videographer who goes by the name "The Unknown Cameraman" toured it and posted the video on YouTube. In less than three months, it was viewed nearly 1 million times.
"This was such a weird story," the videographer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NBC 4 New York in December. "If you’re familiar with the area, there are houses there for $2 million, $3 million -- and then this house was almost like a joke."
Colts Neck police had their hands full with the mansion long before the video. Officers have responded to the property 40 times since 2011 for problems ranging from drugs to vandalism.
The home is owned by David Findel, a once high-flying banker who was convicted of mortgage fraud in 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison. He’s been released and has launched an executive coaching business. Findel has told NBC 4 New York he wants to sell the property, but a legal battle over insurance payments stands in the way.