A Second Highlands House Collapses

49 Second Street, Highlands. Click for larger view.

49 Second Street, Highlands. Click for larger view.

For the second time in less than a month, a home being lifted above the floodplain has collapsed in the borough of Highlands.

At 9:43 this evening the Highlands Police Department received a call that the house at 49 Second Street had collapsed.

The Highlands Fire Department  and eight volunteer members of the Highlands First Aid Squad are on the scene.  There were no injuries reported.  Gas and electric utilities were shut off.  The utility companies have not been notified and neighboring homes have not been evacuated.

The home had already been lifted.  A resident on the scene told MMM that the cause of the collapse is believed to be wind.

On August 23, a house being lifted onto its temporary cribbing collapsed in the borough.  The contractor on the scene of the August

49 Second St, Highlands on July 26. Photo courtesy of Kerry McEntee Gowan via facebook

49 Second St, Highlands on July 26. Photo courtesy of Kerry McEntee Gowan via facebook

23rd incident said it was an accident.

There was no contractor on the scene in Highlands tonight.  A lawn sign for Jerome Homes House Lifting was on the Second Street property.



Posted: September 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Flood Maps, Flooding, Highlands, Hurricane Sandy, News, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Highlands Home Collapses While Being Lifted

billseward's Highlands Home Collapse 82313 album on Photobucket

Highlands, NJ- A home that had been damaged in Superstorm Sandy collapsed while being lifted above the floodplain this morning, destroying an adjoining home in the process.  No one was injured.  Both homes will be torn down this afternoon.

Borough Engineer Dale Leubner said that the cribbing, the wood palates piled to hold the structure while lifting takes place, apparently failed on one corner of the home, causing the collapse.

No one was home in either property. Leubner said that residents of the neighborhood were evacuated.  Fire Departments from Asbury Park, Middletown and Naval Weapons Station Earle were on hand to assist the Highlands Volunteer Fire Department in preventing further property damage or injury.  Utility workers from JCP&L and New Jersey Natural Gas were on hand to shut off the utilities in preparation of the demolitions.

Steven Hasenfus, President of Hasenfus Construction, the company hired to lift the Locust Ave home said, “It was an accident.” Hasenfus declined to comment further.  Hasenfus Construction has offices in Long Branch and in Plymouth, MA.  Hasenfus’s LinkedIn profile says he’s from the Great Boston area.

Mayor Nolan thanked the Highlands first responders, and those from the neighboring communities who arrived to assist and urged homeowners who are rebuilding and raising their home to be careful.  “Thank God no one was hurt.  This should be a cautionary tale for homeowners to be sure they hire qualified contractors and that those contractors have adequate insurance.”

Patricia Parker, President of the Highlands Fire Department’s Ladies Auxilary, said that homeowners who are lifting their homes should be sure to remove all valuable possession and important papers.

The owner of the home that collapsed is traveling out of state.  Friends and family are on the scene waiting to recover whatever possession are in the home after it is demolished.

The adjoining home has been abandoned since Hurricane Irene devastated the borough in 2011.

Posted: August 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Flood Maps, Flooding, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »