This Baltimore demolition crew lived every demolition crew’s nightmare on Sunday after being called in for an emergency job. It was supposed to be easy: tear down the old three-story row house with a huge crack in its facade. However it was anything but easy as a stack of bricks was knocked over onto an adjacent building, bringing it down as well.
According to the Baltimore City Department of Housing, city inspectors deemed the building at 212 E. Fort Ave. unstable because of the crack caused by the exterior wall bowing (expanding because of pressure). On Saturday, the building was condemned, but during the job on Sunday, the crew accidentally condemned an abandoned pet shop called the Laundry Mutt next door. The Department of Housing soon officially condemned the second building as well.
“If a property presents an imminent danger, Baltimore City will take whatever action is necessary to protect the public, including emergency demolition,” a spokeswoman for the Housing Department said, in a statement. “Precautions are always taken with adjacent properties, in this case ensuring that it was unoccupied.”
Tyler Banks, the owner of the first building, said he was in the process of renovating and remodeling the building is working with the city to figure out what went wrong. Also taking the accidental demolition pretty well — the owner of the former site of the Laundry Mutt:
Joseph Rene, the owner of the accidentally demolished 214 E. Fort Ave., is taking the incident in stride.
He watched from the sidewalk Monday as a work crew cleared the brick, metal and wood piled where the two buildings once stood.
“We’ll rebuild it,” said Rene, who is CEO of Metropolitan Asset Management, a Virginia-based development and investment firm. “We have no other option.”
Rene had recently purchased the property for $160,000 and hoped to transform it into a residence, but that won’t happen now.
I guess that’s what insurance is for.