Demolition Crew Accidentally Knocks Down Wrong House on Dallas Street: 'We Made a Mistake'
A Texas homeowner has been left with nothing but rubble after a demolition company accidentally knocked down the wrong house in his neighborhood.
JR’s Demolition was assigned to demolish a home on Richard Avenue in Dallas on Wednesday — but a mixup led their crews to the wrong home on the street, where they ended up destroying a 97-year-old residence instead, according to CBS affiliate KTVT.
Now JR’s Demolition is working to come up with a resolution for homeowner Jeremy Wenninger, who told KTVT that the property was a World War Era Craftsman and held a significant amount of sentimental value.
“We made a mistake and thought we had the right property,” the company’s owner, Bobby Lindamood, told PEOPLE in a statement.
“JR’s Demolition is a small family business who has been in the demolition business for 15 years,” Lindamood continued. “I as the owner, have been in demolition over 35 years, and after many thousands of structure demolitions, this is the first incident wherein the wrong structure was demolished.”
The shocking incident unfolded in a matter of minutes, according to witnesses who watched the quaint “pink house,” as it’s referred to in the Vickery Place neighborhood, get demolished.
“I was pulling up just as the bulldozer and wrecking crew was getting out of here,” neighbor Zach Basich told KTVT. “Didn’t think much of it, just thought another permanent demolition in the neighborhood.”
“I got a call from my neighbor who lived across the alley from the house and he said, ‘They’re tearing down a perfectly good house, do you know what’s going on?'” recalled another neighbor, David Walkington.
“The house is gone,” Walkington added. “That was a unique house built in the ’20s.”
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As it turns out, the pink home once belonged to Wenninger’s good friend Mary Ann Degataire, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Degataire — who had reportedly painted the outside pink as a nod to her time spent living in the Cayman Islands — died in 2018, and left the property to him.
“[Degataire] asked me if I would save her home and not bulldoze it,” Wenninger told ABC affiliate WFAA. “And I did everything in my power to make that happen, and I feel like I’ve just been knocked off my feet.”
Though Wenninger, who currently lives in Los Angeles, didn’t become the legal owner until 2019, he has been working on renovating the property ever since with co-owner Robb Hagestad, the Dallas News reported.
Like the home, all of their plans were destroyed on Wednesday when they learned that crews were bulldozing the Dallas property.
Now all that’s left where the pink home once stood tall is a massive pile of rubble.
“We had fought long and hard for two years to save this property,” Hagestad told the Dallas News. “And now it was destroyed, because of human error. It was literally heartbreaking.”
In Lindamood’s statement to PEOPLE, the owner explained how the mishap came to be, claiming that property appeared to ready to be demolished.
“Many homes on Richard [Avenue] have been demolished by JR’s and other demolition companies in connection with the current redevelopment and revitalization of this area,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, this home did not have any house numbers on it and any street curb address was covered by water from the heavy rains and sawed down tree debris already on site.”
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“JR’s employees inspected this property ensuring that it was empty,” Lindamood continued. “The house was stripped of all plumbing, electrical, sheet rock and fixtures including the commodes, and sinks. It lacked a foundation without concrete, and the gas meter was gone. The rear door was boarded up with plywood and lacked a non-operational front door. The front yard was covered with cut trees debris just as any demo house is before demolition.”
“Neighboring workers stated the property had vagrants and has been vacant for quite some time,” he added. “In short, the property was similar in appearance and condition to many of the properties that JR’s demolished on Richard [Avenue].”
In the wake of the incident, Lindamood said his company has been in contact with Wenninger.
“We spoke with the new owner of the property who acquired it in 2019 and will be working with him toward a resolution,” he said.