Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Think YOU’RE having a bad day? These demolition guys tore down the wrong houses!

Canadian Contractor

‘Measure twice, cut once’? How about ‘Check the address twice, swing the wrecking ball once!’

Sorry! Wrong number!
The bungalow in Fort Worth, Texas had been listed for $369,000, was sold, and was empty. The sign on the house said ‘2736’. Imagine the surprise when the owners went by for final visit just before closing and  found the interior gutted, even down to the moldings and doorbell…everything gone, toilets interior doors, shutters, the works.

Turns out it was all a simple misunderstanding! The owner of a nearby house numbered 2700 had hired a contractor to strip his house. He didn’t give the demo crew any keys, telling them to just kick the door down. Over three days, the crew stripped the house at #2736, thinking they were doing a great job , and telling inquiring neighbors they had been hired to do the job.

According to investigating police officers, the crew thought the number painted on the curb said 2700, and didn’t pay any attention to the numbers on the house itself. Believing it was an honest mistake, no charges were laid. The contractor offered to either buy the stripped-out house for the selling price (obviously the purchasers had walked), or restore it. According to local media, the vendors have asked for the house to be restored. No hard feelings, apparently. “He is bending over backwards for us,” the sellers said. “We are grateful that he was honest and admitted the mistake and wants to reconcile.”

Google made me do it!


All that’s left of 7601 Calypso is the rubble

Letters and numbers seem to be a problem for other crews in Texas. From Rowlett, TX, comes a story about demolition team accepting a Google Maps location at total face value. Seems a duplex at 7601 Cousteau was due for demolition, and in fact that’s even what the demolition permit said. However, using Google Maps, the crew were directed to 7601 Calypso instead, and tore it down. (Ironically, Calypso was the name of legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau’s research ship, but that’s another story!)

Turns out there was a glitch in Google Maps’ location software. Allegedly, when ‘Cousteau’ was typed in, Google Maps went to ‘Calypso’ instead; wrong building, wrong street. Now it’s a matter of determining whether Google can be held liable for the error, or whether the crew should have taken the time to read the street signs properly. Interestingly, the demolition company’s motto is, “We could wreck the world”. A law suit is before the courts.

Does this look confusing to you? Can you read ‘200’ on the letterbox? The wreckers couldn’t!

It can happen anywhere, even Australia, mate!
It’s not the way a day at the office should end. Steve Ballas of Bankstown, NSW in Australia had been preparing to rent out a house he had owned for several years at 198 Marion Street. When he found out it was being demolished, he raced over to the property to find the building flattened. A wrecking crew had earlier arrived with a permit to demolish 200 Marion Street next door. However, they claim they were confused by the letterbox placements of the two homes. Police believe it was an honest mistake and won’t be laying charges, however further investigations are underway.

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