Wrong home in Bellaire marked for demolition

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Home demolition scare in Bellaire, Tracy Clemons reports.

A homeowner got the scare of her life after a friend watching over her home while she was away called to say her house was going to be demolished.

That friend showed up to the Givens' Bellaire home as a crew with a backhoe started digging up part of the yard to cut the sewer line. That's the first step in a demolition the Givens family never asked for.

"She said your house is being demolished today. Did you know that?" recalled Socorro McGrail-Givens. "I said what are you talking about!?"

A crew was at her Mimosa Street home to cut off their sewer connection so the house could go to the next phase of demolition.

"You have to understand how dumbfounded and shocked we were to understand what was going on here," said Paul Givens.

They hopped on the first flight back to Houston.

"We went to the city of Bellaire to double check if any permits had been issued for our property," he told abc13.

Eyewitness News went to Bellaire City Hall to check on the permits. The city says there have been no permits issued for the Givens' home. The permit that was issued was for the work that was started in their yard to be done three doors down.

James Monreal with Coastal Bend Plumbing explained to Socorro McGrail-Givens that a typo by the demolition company caused the mistake.

"The original work order did come in under one address. When they caught it on their end, they called us, then I called them (my workers) and they were already here digging," he said.

But the owner of Dennis Williams Demolition denies giving the wrong address, claiming Monreal's guys made the mistake on their own. We're told the house would've still been there even if nobody had caught this mistake.

"Because if one step gets missed, the next step is in place to catch that error," Monreal said.

Whoever was at fault, Coastal Bend bit the bullet and repaired the damage to the yard.

Mrs. Givens says a simple step can prevent the mistake altogether. She suggests demolition companies take a picture of the house they're set to demolish so crews can be sure it's the right house.
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