Family loses everything after home destroyed in unplanned demolition

A Philadelphia family is homeless after their Francisville house was torn down by demolition crews. But, it wasn’t their choice.

With a flat screen television still mounted on the bedroom wall and clothes still on hangers from the street, you can now see what’s left of Tyrone Mack’s childhood Francisville home. It’s a pile of rubble.

But, the demolition was not planned. In fact, the family had 60 seconds to evacuate their home and left everything inside.

"And all of a sudden – boom! It just fell," Mack remarked.

He was returning home from treatments for Stage 4 colon cancer Tuesday afternoon when the call came that his home was uninhabitable.

Mack’s wife, Sandy Island, was inside the home on the 700 block of North 16th Street when a construction crew next door caused her home to shake Tuesday afternoon.

"It went boom boom and my house shook" said Sandy Island.

For months crews have been working on demolishing two houses to make room for a 10-unit apartment building developed by The Regis Group.

"I could hear them banging on my side wall. And I’m like, that’s my side wall. They messed up. They really messed up," said Island.

Skyfox was over the property after the partial collapse on Wednesday. But since then, building inspectors with the Department of Licenses and Inspections deemed the home uninhabitable. Another demolition company was busy Friday afternoon tearing down the home that has been in Mack’s family for over 70 years.

"What do you tell your kids when they ask, ‘Dad what happened?" Mack stated.

Along with fighting cancer, the couple's son suffers from leukemia and their 11-year-old daughter had three open-heart surgeries.

Now they are living in a hotel until they figure out where the family will go.

Mack came back to the site Friday just as demo crews discovered the body of his 15-year-old cat "Frisky," who was found in the rubble.

The family has hired an attorney to investigate the developer, Regis Group, and their contractors. FOX 29 learned the property failed inspection by the Department of Licenses and Inspections on March 24th and five additional violations were filed on April 11th.

The family says someone needs to be held responsible for their family losing everything. "We lost everything. Where do you lay your head? Where do you call home to be safe? We don’t have that" said Mack.

FOX 29 reached out to The Regis Group for a comment on the collapse. So far there has been no response.