Letter carriers have returned to the 1300 block of Browning Street in Camden after city officials said they have gotten rid of the fleas in a vacant home that have plagued the neighborhood since June.

The inside of 1303 Browning Street where a dead dog and five others were removed last month. Neighbors complianed about a flea infestation that was left behind.
BARBARA BOYER/STAFF
The inside of 1303 Browning Street where a dead dog and five others were removed last month. Neighbors complianed about a flea infestation that was left behind.

An infestation of the bugs in the Whitman Park neighborhood had become so terrible that the U.S. Postal Service suspended door-to-door mail delivery on July 11 and placed locked mailboxes at the end of the street.

"We got the mail and that's great," said Karen Williams who lives on the block. She collected signatures on a petition she delivered to the city last month. The residents demanded that officials clean and board 1303 Browning, where several dogs had been abandoned without food or water. Animal control officers last month removed one dead dog, and five others that were malnourished, had severe wounds, and were infected with fleas, according to an incident report.

The city did hire an exterminator, but eliminating the infestation took weeks. It posed a health concern for letter carriers, causing the Postal Service to install the mailboxes at the end of the block until the fleas were gone.

On Friday, city officials nailed boards on the windows and doors of the house. On Saturday, mail service resumed, said Ray Daiutolo Sr., a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service. Williams said on Monday morning the locked mailboxes were removed. Although the house is boarded up, Williams said she and others remain concerned about fleas, feces, and urine that was not cleaned inside the house.

According to property records, the house is owned by a couple in their 90s, but U.S. Bank & Sterling National has taken possession of the property.

Vince Basara, a spokesperson for Camden, told the Inquirer and Daily News last week that city officials notified the bank it had to clean and secure the property. Until that is done, he said, the city is taking responsibility. The Department of Public Works, as has been the case with several other rowhouses on the street, boarded up the rowhome.