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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New surveillance video shows the moment the side of a Kensington home came crashing down Thursday, sending a neighbor running for cover. It was on the verge of collapse for days.
Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections say a contractor was in the process of demolishing the house next door and damaged the shared foundation wall.
The family whose home was destroyed owns a second house but is left scrambling to save what they can.
“I was here every day praying this wasn’t going to happen,” Stacey Colello to Eyewitness News.
Surveillance video captured the moment the right side of 2622 Tulip Street came tumbling down Thursday.
“The house has been in our family over 50 years,” Colello said. “We’re just heartbroken.”
Officials with the city’s Licenses and Inspections Department said the collapse is the result of renovations that took place inside the house next door, which is now a pile of debris.
On Tuesday, L&I was forced to demolish 2624 Tulip Street after officials says a contractor without proper permits started excavating the basement. That damaged the house’s foundation.
“Livid and speechless,” Colello said. “Just to save a penny. He has no idea what he’s done to our family.”
No one answered the door when Eyewitness News tried to reach the contractor, Wharton Homes LLC, for comment.
Many of the family’s possessions are buried under all the rubble. They were able to save some priceless mementos.
“Easters, holidays, my grandmother never not had a camera to catch that memory,” Jim Hopp, whose family owns the home, said.
Sadly, this family’s ordeal is similar to a situation in nearby Fishtown, about a little more than one month ago.
L&I said it’s cracking down on the problem and restarting weekend patrol inspections.
“This has got to end,” Hopp said.