Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

St. James house is flipped, literally

Mishap sees it land on neighbour's home

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St. James homeowner Wendy Roberts points to the aftermath of the incident in which her neighbour's house fell onto hers.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

St. James homeowner Wendy Roberts points to the aftermath of the incident in which her neighbour's house fell onto hers. Photo Store

A house speculator may have wanted to renovate and flip a house -- he just didn't want to flip it onto his neighbour's house.

But that's what happened in St. James Monday when something happened while contractors were lifting the one-storey house at 164 Roseberry St.

The house had been lifted more than a metre off the ground when it suddenly slid north about a metre and then dropped, with the entire side of the roof coming to rest on the eaves of the neighbour's roof.

Now the province's workplace safety and health branch has issued a stop-work order on the site.

Wendy Roberts, who lives in the house hit by her neighbour's house, said a few days later she's still upset about it.

'To say the least, I was a little shocked' -- Precious Mayo. whose house collapsed onto his neighbour's

"I came out and swore at the contractor and he said a bar broke," Roberts said on Friday.

"I ran back inside to call the Manitoba Hydro emergency line and then I came out and swore again.

"This should never have been done... I'm not happy with the situation."

Roberts said she was inside her house Monday at about 5:30 p.m., when suddenly "I heard a bang."

"Then it was like I was just shoved. I looked towards my side window, but it was suddenly black. I went outside and that's when I saw the house on my house."

Roberts said besides roof damage, she also has cracks on walls and ceilings throughout her home.

A provincial spokesman said WSH has issued a stop-work order on the homeowner and Jost Building Lifting and Leveling.

The spokesman said WSH found several problems on the site, including unsafe lifting practices and unsafe use of equipment.

A spokeswoman for the city's planning, property and development department confirmed the city issued a demolition order on Friday, which requires the house be demolished within two weeks.

Precious Mayo, who bought the house earlier this year with plans to jack it up, put in a basement, renovate it and sell it, said he wasn't there when it happened.

"To say the least, I was a little shocked," Mayo said about his house falling on his neighbour's.

"I did not intend to stress the neighbour with this accident. I am just so sorry the neighbour has been stressed about it... the contractor really messed up."

Mayo said the contractor has insurance, so his house will be demolished sometime in the next few days. He said he plans to construct a new house on his lot.

Jonathan Jost, owner of Jost Building Lifting and Leveling, confirmed his company's insurance will cover the damages.

"I think it was a beam failure," Jost said. "No, this has never happened before... I certainly did apologize to her (neighbour)."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2013 A8

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