Bit of a situation at 5th and Greenwich streets. Jeff Wiesner, president of the Dickinson Square West Civic Association, alerted us to a family that has been forced out of their home in relation to a construction project next door.
The house in the photo above is in danger of collapse because of digging at a lot next door that was to be new construction, Wiesner says.
“Currently the residents are not allowed inside their home until it is considered safe,” he told us yesterday. “They need food, a place to stay, and a change of clothes. In addition to this, we are seeking a structural engineer to help assess the situation.”
“The residents are not allowed back in their house,” he said. “They’re staying with friends and otherwise just standing on the corner wondering what to do. A few of them need to go to work but don’t have a change of clothes.”
Wiesner said that anyone in a position to help should email info@dickinsonsquarewest.
Meanwhile, Rod Mazzoni, owner of Halifax Services, the contracting company in charge of the build site, said he believes the building will be cleared for re-entry later today.
What happened was whoever took down the old house on the lot years ago failed to turn the service off for the water, Mazzoni said. His crew hit a pipe as they were digging for the foundation of the new house and water started flowing. They capped the pipe but later that night, someone spotted a foot of copper pipe jutting out of the ground and ripped it out, filling the foundation hole and the neighboring basement with water.
That brought out the water and fire departments. While the basement was being pumped out, firefighters noticed cracks on the building next door and alerted L&I, Mazzoni said. adding that the cracks were there before this incident. “The guy from L&I told me he didn’t think it was a problem, but let’s be safe,” he said. “There’s people involved, so let’s get engineer out here.”
So, fingers crossed.
“I’m paying for whole thing,” Mazzoni said. “The homeowners aren’t going to be out dime.”
Even if the building is deemed structurally sound today and the family gets back in, it’s been quite a headache.
“For $2 worth worth of copper, this guy ends costing me about $2,000 and a work stoppage,” Mazzoni said.