Harrisburg woman worried her home could collapse after demolition job next door damaged her home


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg woman is concerned her home may collapse at any moment. Paula Strickland says a demolition job next door damaged her house. She called abc27 for help, and we went to the city for answers.

Strickland lives on Muench Street. She says her home has been in her family for over 65 years.

The city of Harrisburg contracted a construction company to demolish a condemned home right next to Strickland’s, but in the process, it damaged Strickland’s own home. She showed us her insurance company’s engineer’s report that says her home is now “structurally unsound and unsafe.”

“I’m upset because my house is in really bad shape. We don’t sleep because we’re scared. If we fall asleep, the house can fall down. We can’t get out,” Strickland said.

Strickland showed us the damage to her home. She also showed the city engineer and the city’s contractor what happened after the demolition job next door to her home.

“The basement walls are bowed in. My steps have moved away from the walls. I can stand in my basement and look outside and talk to people. I showed them where water was coming in the back,” Strickland said.

The work was paused for three weeks but resumed Monday. The city engineer and contractor did not want to be interviewed, but neither seemed concerned about any immediate danger.

The contractor said he would fix the damage. Another city official in the codes department stopped by later in the day to work with Strickland to get it repaired. Strickland says that’s all she wants, but she wants it done right, with an engineer to oversee the work. We’re told, the contractor’s engineer will soon assess the damage to Strickland’s home as well.

“I don’t know where I’m going. I have nowhere to go. ‘Are you going to sleep in there tonight?’ Yeah, I have been sleeping in there,” Strickland said.

Strickland said she’s talking to a lawyer and the contractor said he’s doing the same thing.

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