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Families Mourn Victims of Fatal Houston House Collapse


The families of two men who died as they were attempting to raise a Hurricane Harvey-damaged home in northeast Houston last week are struggling to come to terms with the horrific tragedy.

Volunteers Were Attempting to Elevate Home Above Flood Plain

Shad Moore, 40, and Patrick Dalton Gardiner, 26, were part of a volunteer effort at 5414 Olana Drive.  Last Thursday, they and two others were using a bottle jack to elevate the building above the flood plain.

Moore and Gardiner were crushed beneath the home, when it suddenly shifted and collapsed. Rescue crews were forced to use air bags and a hydraulic tool to reach the men, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

The two other volunteers had been working outside the house and were spared injury.

House Collapse Victims Were Known for Helping Others

Friends and family say volunteering came naturally to both Moore and Gardiner.

“If we had a neighbor taking the trash out, he’d stop her and take it out the rest of the way,” Gardiner’s wife, Renée, told the Houston Chronicle. “If he saw an elderly neighbor who needed help with the groceries, he’d put up the groceries.”

An aspiring tattoo artist, Gardiner leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter, Peyton.

Moore’s family has been inundated with condolences from the many people he had volunteered to help over the years.

“I know him,” Moore’s brother-in-law said. “He would be more worried about the house left unfinished.”

No Permit Issued to Elevate Flood-Damaged Home

It appears that none of those working to raise the home were contractors. The Harris County Engineering Department has also indicated that it did not issue a permit for elevating the building.

A spokesperson for the Houston public workers department told the Chronicle that permits are required for such work, and that home elevation projects must go through the city’s structural inspection department.

“We discourage people from trying to elevate their own homes,” she said.

In November, the county did issue a permit for residential flood recovery at the home. However, such a permit only allows for restoration to pre-flood condition, and does not authorize elevation.

Collapsed Home Had Been Inundated During Allison and Harvey

The collapsed home had flooded at least twice, during Tropical Storm Allison in September 2001, and again during Harvey. The owner had hoped that raising the building would prevent further flooding during future storms.

“This neighborhood has just flooded over and over and over,” a neighbor told the Houston Chronicle. “Every time we have a flood, it floods.”

Was Someone You Love Injured in the Northeast Houston House Collapse? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation.

Our Houston-based Personal Injury Lawyers are investigating the deadly house collapse in northeast Harris County and will post additional updates should more information become available.

If you or someone you love were affected by this deadly accident, and you have questions about your legal options, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

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