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City Subcontractor Demolished Wrong House

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Imagine driving up to your home - or vacation home - and realizing it's not there.

It happened in the Lake Worth section of Fort Worth last Friday when a city subcontracted demolition crew took down the wrong house in the 9700 block of Watercress Drive.  The crews apparently demolished the house next door to what was the original targeted property.

"Typical city," said neighbor Stephen Neumann, laughing.

Neumann ruefully observes this kind of mistake has happened along the lake before and that he keeps his own property spritzed up to avoid any confusion. He was on his way to a charity fund-raiser early Friday and couldn't figure out what a demolition crew was doing to a relatively well-built home.

"I just seen an excavator tearing that house down and I was wondering why," he said adding, "It was a pretty good house, it wasn't all that bad. When this one next door has been needing tearing down for years." Neuman says he thought perhaps someone was tearing it down to build a fancy new home, but that wasn't the case. The city calls it a mistake.

The property set for demolition was at 9708 Watercress but what was actually torn down was next door at 9716 Watercress.

Code enforcement was at the demolished home taking pictures and getting new information Tuesday aftenoon in preparation for a meeting to discuss what happened. But no one would talk to CBS 11 News on camera about the mixup until the city investigation is completed.

Off camera, city officials have indicated that the property was vacant and public utilities disconnected before the demolition crew went to work.

Another neighbor, Samantha Farmer feels it could be an understandable mistake, given the condition of some other homes near the one that was demolished.  "To be honest, all those houses up there have been kind of...junky. So I could see how they could have gotten it mistaken for the wrong one." said Farmer.

The owner of the demolished property actually has a permanent home at Eagle Mountain Lake. CBS 11 has been unable to contact the owner, but it's expected they'll be compensated for the loss.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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