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‘Worst I’ve Ever Seen,’ SLC Home Collapses During Remodeling

Apr 25, 2019, 6:20 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Salt Lake City homeowner is devastated tonight after her dream home collapsed during remodeling.

The house in the Liberty Wells neighborhood was vacant when it collapsed last night. Now, an emergency demolition is in the works, and the future of the property is unclear.

The first collapse happened last night around 6:30. Fortunately, the owner and her family are out of the home during the remodeling, and no workers were inside.

Right now, the city is waiting on a permit to finish off the collapse with an emergency demolition.

“The first clue was the sound of what we thought was thunder in the bedroom,” said Alan Tew, a next-door neighbor.

He and his wife were chatting last night when they heard that loud noise on the other side of their bedroom wall.

“We ran outside, saw the house, and we were like, ‘Oh my God’… and the neighbors were already on the phone calling 9-111,” he said.

As the partially-collapsed house was perched last night, Tew wasn’t so sure his home was safe.

“The pillars of the front of the house looked like they were holding up the roof, and could potentially slide down and hit our house,” he said.

So, they stayed with a relative, last night.

This morning, as the owner and neighbors watched, the house collapsed again, leaving the homes next-door apparently undamaged.

“I feel terrible for them because what turned out to be a basement project is now a house project,” said Tew.

The homeowner said a contractor’s crew was digging out the basement to expand the home.

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Greg Mikolash, a development review supervisor with the building services department with Salt Lake City.

He said the home collapsed after the remodeling crew dug into the foundation of the home, and took out critical support.

“Yeah, that would be the only case where this would happen,” he said.

Mikolash said remodels in which workers dig out a larger basement are common. But, a collapse like this is very rare, even though he cited a couple of partial collapses in the last two years where the houses had to be demolished.

“Honestly, this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This reminds me of something that would happen during an earthquake. A major earthquake.”

Neighbors have started a gofundme account* to help the homeowners recoup some of their expected losses.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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‘Worst I’ve Ever Seen,’ SLC Home Collapses During Remodeling