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Three Highlands Homes Demolished After One Shifts, Falls While Being Elevated

Written by The Two River Times. Posted in Front Page, News

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Published on August 23, 2013 with 1 Comment

 

highlandsCollapse1-IMG_7389HIGHLANDS – Emergency crews were demolishing three homes on Locust Street Friday after a home on the corner, being elevated, slipped off its cribbing and fell, striking the house next door.

No injuries were reported.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, workers were leveling the homes.

An excavator was brought to the scene at about 1 p.m. where the two-story home at 1 Locust St., at the corner of Willow Street, was being elevated. It fell for an undetermined reason, twisting on a 45-degree angle from where it had been located. It hit the brick ranch-style home next doo at 3 Locust St, which was abandoned. Another abandoned one-story frame house next door to it at 5 Locust St. also was demolished.Borough officials said that the homes at 3 and 5 Locust St.already had beenslated for demolition, officials said.

According to borough engineer Dale Leubner of T&M Associates, the home at 1 Locust St. is owned by Prince Gilpin and the firm contracted to do the house lifting was Hasenfus Construction Services of Long Branch.

The construction company could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

The mother of the homeowner is comforted by neighbors.

The mother of the homeowner is comforted by neighbors.

According to Mayor Frank Nolan, Gilpin’s home was only about two years old, had sustained damaged from Super Storm Sandy and had been repaired. The home’s foundation was heavily damaged and officials said it was too dangerous to let anyone inside to removed the owner’s personal belongings. The owner reportedly went on vacation so the building could be elevated.

According to Paul Vitale, the Highlands building inspector, more than a dozen houses in the borough had been elevated since Sandy and there have been no issues with those projects.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating.

The Highlands fire chief confers with a New Jersey Natural Gas representative at the scene.

The Highlands fire chief confers with a New Jersey Natural Gas representative at the scene.

Emergency crews from the Asbury Park heavy rescue team and Middletown and Highlands fire departments were on the scene along with personnel from the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and Naval Weapons Station Earle.

 

An engineer from T&M Associates, the Highlands building inspector and one of the contractors inspect the damage.

An engineer from T&M Associates, the Highlands building inspector and one of the contractors inspect the damage.

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  1. Fema tells us we must raise our houses? And look at this possibility to our homes if we do. Do you think I want to take this chance on raising my home and risk also the possibility of loosing all my possissions with it? This is a perfect example of what could happen. No matter how slight the chance, it COULD HAPPEN. Why must I be forced to make this decision? And if I don’t risk this chance on loosing my home, then I am punished with astronomical flood insurance. Is this right that we are now living under laws that may ruin our lives. We are 70 yrs. old and can’t afford to loose anymore. I don’t want to move, we did not get that much water here. But I can’t raise this house, can’t climb steps and have nowhere to go. Live on S.S. so can’t pay the flood insurance. So what do people like us do? Dam if we do, and dam if we don’t.

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