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Family Lucky To Be Alive After Home Suddenly Collapses In West Mount Airy

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A family is lucky to be alive after a huge section of their home suddenly collapsed to the ground in the West Mount Airy section of Philadelphia early Tuesday morning. A woman and her grandmother were asleep inside the home this morning and now crews are on the scene to make sure the rest of it doesn't fall down.

Hazel Lee Taylor, the home's owner, has many of her clothes, furniture and other belongings scattered on her lawn, but she's just thankful she and her granddaughter were not hurt.

"The Lord had a hedge of protection around me and that's what I truly believe that he protected me," said Taylor.

West Mount Airy building partial collapse
Credit: CBS3

Taylor is in good spirits and without a scratch, even as nearly two decades of her memories are now damaged or destroyed, laying beneath piles of debris.

"Everything is gone, that's all I can say, it's gone," she said.

Part of her home came crashing down just before 5 a.m. on the 7000 block of Lincoln Drive while she and her granddaughter were asleep.

"I just heard this crash," said granddaughter Mahlara Ross. "All I heard was a little crack at first, then as a drop out of nowhere."

Taylor believes her neighbor, who owns the other side of the twin home, is to blame. She says her neighbor recently hired a contractor to gut his home. About two weeks ago, Taylor noticed cracks starting to form on the outside where the two homes met.

"It had affected each level," she said.

While Taylor says she's not upset, Mahlara thinks a good neighbor would have done something about the cracks.

"All my memories are in this house. Y'all ruined everything that we had, everything that we shared together," said Mahlara.

Inspectors are trying to determine if the rest of the home is in danger of collapsing.

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