NEW ORLEANS -- It's an astonishing sight. The walls collapsed on a long abandoned house, sending the roof smashing into the side of the home next door, creating an emergency for the two women who rent it.
"You're talking about loss of life, loss of property, lots of really devastating things that could happen here," said worried Property Manager Ben McLeish.
McLeish pointed out damage that is already occurring, from a smashed window to doors that no longer close properly.
"You're talking $50,000 to $60,000 worth of structural damage already happening here, because you've got whole walls that are bowing, the whole house has shifted over. I mean you're talking a large insurance claim."
After a three-year campaign, they say city officials finally agreed to tear it down three weeks ago. But before it could be demolished, the rear collapsed Sunday.
While the city's response to that was "it's on the list," the rest fell last night.
"It's only a matter of maybe minutes, hours, days before this house causes this house to fall down," McLeish said. "You know, it's got me pretty frustrated."
Ironically, another house fell -- the one on the other side -- several years ago. In 24 hours it was cleaned up. This time I contacted City Hall, they had inspectors out here early this morning, and within hours, the demolition crew was on the scene.
They wasted no time pulling the weight of the fallen house off the neighboring home, and reducing it to debris that could be hauled away in trucks. Removing the heavy roof lifted a ton of tension off Ben McLeish.
"But I'm very happy that it's off, and we're not going to see this house fall over also, so I'm thankful for it."