Neighbors exposed to dangerous asbestos when contractor tears down Detroit house without permission

Posted: 6:35 PM, Sep 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-30 02:52:50Z

A demolition debacle exposes neighbors to dangerous asbestos. 

When neighbors woke up to the sight of a demolition crew, it was a welcomed sight. The house has been an eyesore on the block since a deadly fire took the lives of two small children in 2013.

“It was a constant reminder of the tragedy that happened over there. It’s a blessing it’s gone,” Sandra Garner told 7 Action News.

Only, the house wasn’t scheduled to be torn down. 7 Action News has learned the contractor, Able Demolition, tore down the wrong house and did so without the dangerous asbestos being removed, putting neighbors health at risk.

“They put my health in jeopardy,” one neighbor said.

The company has been cited for the violation by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 

Detroit’s demolition tracker showed the house was torn down September 6th, 2016 at a proposed cost of $23,894. 

A spokesperson for the Detroit Land Bank Authority released the following statement:

The home in question was demolished without permission from the Detroit Land Bank Authority or the Detroit Building Authority. The contractor immediately self-reported the error to the MDEQ. The DLBA and the DBA did not cause the alleged violations and therefore, cannot explain their cause.  As a licensed demolition contractor, it was the DBA and the DLBA's expectation that the contractor would have followed the legal requirements and the DBA's Scope of Work for these projects had the contractor had the permission to demolish. The DBA's Scope of Work clearly sets for the requirements for demolition projects. If those requirements are not followed, contractors are subject to disciplinary action. The contractor in this case has been referred to the city of Detroit for disciplinary review.