A Fort Worth, Texas, man went home to find an empty lot where his family’s house of decades had stood. Local officials still don’t know how it came to be mistakenly demolished by a crew last weekend.
David Underwood and his wife returned from out of town on Saturday and decided to stop by their house, which had belonged to his late grandmother and where they had planned to move eventually.
“We rounded the corner and my wife, Valerie says, ‘The house is gone David,’” he told the Dallas Observer blog Unfair Park. “I’m looking at the yard, so I looked and I’m like, ‘Wow, OK.’”
All that was left of their three-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch-style home was its foundation slab.
A passing city marshal informed them that the home was demolished, the Dallas Observer reported. The Underwoods eventually learned that the demolition crew contracted by the city had mistakenly cleared their home instead of a nearby one that was condemned months ago.
The Underwoods’ home is on 9716 Watercress Drive while the condemned home, which is still standing, is on 9708 Watercress Drive.
Bill Begley, a spokesman for the City of Fort Worth provided a statement to ABC News.
“On July 12, 2013, contractors demolished the wrong property on Watercress Drive,” the city’s statement read. “The property to be demolished should have been 9708 Watercress Dr. The property that was demolished was a vacant structure located at 9716 Watercress Dr. City staff currently is investigating to determine what happened.”
“A mistake was made,” Fort Worth’s code compliance director, Brandon Bennett, told The Dallas Morning News. “We have to identify where the weak link was and fix that so it doesn’t happen again. We need to look at all of our upcoming demolitions, and double- and triple-check these things to make sure everybody has dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s.”
It wasn’t clear who whether the city or the demolition contractor would compensate the owners for the house. A call to the Underwoods wasn’t immediately returned.