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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

Tornado-Damaged Home Of Woman Featured In KERA Series Demolished By Mistake

Lara Solt
KERA special contributor
Before it was demolished, Lindsay Diaz and her son, 7-month-old Arian Krasniqi, stand in the living room of their Rowlett duplex.

A family trying to recover from Christmas weekend tornadoes got some startling news Tuesday.

Lindsay Diaz owns a duplex in Rowlett. KERA has been following her in the series- One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life.

Diaz had just applied for a builders permit to repair her home. As Courtney Collins explains, later that day, it was demolished-- by mistake.

  Lindsay Diaz has dealt with a lot since the December 26th tornadoes. She rode out the storm in her bathtub with her 8-month-old baby. She’s been squirreling away money to cover a shortfall in her homeowner’s insurance.

A Costly Mistake

Just last week she made the decision to repair instead of completely rebuild her half of the duplex—she was feeling good. The feeling didn’t last.

“I was driving home from work and I get a call from my neighbor," Diaz says. "She’s very frantic, crying and I asked her ‘what’s going on?’ She said, ‘a company came and demolished the house by mistake.'”

Diaz rushed over to see for herself and found a concrete slab where her duplex used to be.

“When a structural engineer came out to see my home, he wrote a report stating that the home was structurally sound. One of the walls needed to be replaced, some of the rafters on the roof needed to be replaced, but the home was structurally sound and did not need to come down," she says.

Starting Over-- Again

The company responsible, Billy L Nabors Demolition, told Diaz the demo workers checked the address before they started. They had the right house number, but the wrong street.

Now, Diaz has to start over.

“We would have been in the house by the end of the summer. And then all of the sudden it’s like the tornado came through again, took everything," she says,

Another frustrating hurdle for a young mom trying to rebuild her life.

Billy Nabors Demolition hasn’t returned KERA’s calls.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.