The wrong house was demolished in what appears to be a simple mix-up in addresses by a Forth Worth, Texas, contractor sent to destroy a condemned house. Fox News reported July 16 that the city of Forth Worth was investigating how such a mistake could have been made by one of their demolition crews.
And it wasn’t just a paperwork mistake. The property owned by David Underwood, a house once owned by his grandmother, truly no longer exists — except for the cement foundation.
“We came around Silver Creek looking for the lot and my wife said, ‘David, I think the house is gone,'” Underwood told KDFW, a Fox News affiliated Dallas-Forth Worth station Monday. “We looked up there and sure enough, it’s gone!”
Underwood and his wife had planned on renovating the 1300-square-foot vacant lakeside house and then move in.
The city has admitted to the error. The code of compliance office issued a prepared statement, saying: “On July 12, 2013, contractors demolished the wrong property on Watercress Drive. The property to be demolished should have been 9708 Watercress Dr. The property that was demolished was a vacant structure located at 9716 Watercress Drive.”
He laughed, describing his encounter with a couple city marshals. He said that when he asked what happened, they seemed surprised that the wrong house had been destroyed.
“‘That was your house?'” Underwood recounted. “‘Oops.'”
Underwood said that the only things that were left in the house were some old books and a few personal items. The house was built in 1951.
KDFW reported that a neighbor had attempted to warn city officials that the wrong house was being demolished, that the crew had showed up at the wrong house. Obviously, his warnings were to no avail.
The house at 9708 Watercress Drive had been condemned and had been awaiting demolition since January.
The Associated Press reported (via the Beaumont Enterprise) Thursday that Underwood was asked by Forth Worth city officials to evaluate the worth of the house in order to reach a possible settlement.
Still, David Underwood doesn’t appear to be too disheartened about the wrong house being demolished. He works for a company that builds centers for underserved neighborhoods.
“I see so much around here,” he told KDFW, “people that need help and have less that, it’s an accident, let’s do what’s right and move on.”
A good attitude to have but it no doubt helps that the house demolished wasn’t David Underwood’s place of residence. That’s what happened to a Pittsburgh homeowner in 2011. After returning home from the holidays, the Associated Press reported, Andre Hall made the shocking discovery that a contractor had torn down a house he was in the process of fixing up for his family to move into by the end of January.
“What happens to me now? Like, what happens to all the work I did in the house? My tools is gone. My family…,” Hall said, throwing his hands out in frustration. “We can’t… Where are we supposed to go now?”
In the Pittsburgh incident, again the wrong house was demolished. Again, the house next door was to be destroyed.