'There's nothing left': Crew demolishes wrong home

The demolition crew tore down the wrong house after getting the address wrong. Photo / iStock
The demolition crew tore down the wrong house after getting the address wrong. Photo / iStock

The day after Christmas last year, tornadoes tore through Rowlett, Texas, a quiet suburb of Dallas. The aftermath was the image of destruction: splintered wood, metal and brick - once the foundation of homes - covered the streets. Nearly 450 buildings were damaged or destroyed; hundreds lost their homes; one person was killed.

At the time, Lindsay Diaz and Alan Cutter considered themselves lucky. The duplex they owned needed repairs, but it was structurally sound. In the meantime, Diaz and her family were living in a rented home.

This Tuesday, Diaz received a frantic call from Cutter's wife, ABC affiliate WFAA reported. Their duplex was gone, she said.

Gone?

Disbelieving, Diaz hurried to her house.

"I pull up, and - sure enough - it's gone," she told WFAA. "There's nothing left."

Earlier that day, a demolition crew had arrived to tear the house down, KTVT reported. But it was all a mistake: Their intended target was another duplex one block over, a house bearing the same number on a different street.

Diaz and Cutter's duplex occupied 7601 and 7603 Calypso Drive. The house that was supposed to be demolished was left standing, at 7601 Cousteau Drive.

Diaz said when she tried talking to the president of the demolition company, Billy L. Nabors Demolition, he was unsympathetic.

"I didn't believe he was telling me this," she told KTVT. "I was hoping for an apology - 'I'm sorry my company did this, we'll make it better,' and instead he's telling me how the insurance is going to handle it, and telling me that it's going to be a nasty fight."

The red marker indicates the house that was supposed to be demolished. The black one indicates Cruz and Cutter's mistakenly demolished duplex.
The red marker indicates the house that was supposed to be demolished. The black one indicates Cruz and Cutter's mistakenly demolished duplex.

An employee also texted her Google Maps screenshots pointing to her duplex as 7601 Cousteau.

Nabors CEO George Gomez told WFAA that the situation was "not a big deal" on Thursday. Rowlett City Manager Brian Funderburk disagreed.

"I think this is a huge deal," Funderburk told WFAA. "The homeowners were in the process of trying to figure out what it was going to take to repair their home and now they're looking at rebuilding it instead. I think this is a very big deal."

Diaz is currently waiting to hear back from Nabors's insurance carrier about making a claim.

"That's what their job is - to wreck it in demo, and they really wrecked my life," she told WFAA. "I feel farther away from moving into a home today than I did after the tornado hit."

The company's slogan, according to its website, is "We could wreck the world."

- Washington Post

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