By Joe Holden


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Homeowners have a lot of questions about the collapse of two homes in Fishtown on Monday evening.

The demise was captured on rolling cameras and was said to be inevitable because of a loss of structural integrity, but it was not supposed to happen like this.

The collapse was triggered Sunday morning, on the 600 block of East Thompson Street.

After a couple days of leaning, with cracking and creaking sounds, the city had hoped to carefully tear down the two row homes, but that didn’t happen.

The unoccupied 633 East Thompson Street home was so unstable, it brought down neighboring 635 house. It was home to a 94-year-old mother of 10 – both places gone in a cloud of dust.

“You see just what a calamity this actually is, coming to have to run out of the house with just the shirt on your backs,” said Sean Klenk, son of the homeowner.

Records with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections show three permits were pulled for work in 633 East Thompson Street.

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But, investigators tell Eyewitness News that a company the city identifies as “Q Construction Group” exceeded the scope of its permits.

A phone number for the group was disconnected.

The Klenks spent Monday salvaging memories and theorizing contractors next door had precariously hollowed out a shared foundation wall, the beginning of the end of their 94-year-old mother’s home.

In photos shared with Eyewitness News, you can see two by four’s supporting an entire section of the home.

Bricks from the home next door had spilled into the basement.

“Family has been here for almost 100 years, and you know, it just came down in just a couple days,” said Jim Sampson, a grandson of the homeowner.

Boxes of photos were unearthed from the snowy rubble, the remains of a space known for happy family gatherings.

Frustration now focuses on whatever was happening on the other side of the wall to the property next door.

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