OAKLAND -- A 122-year-old West Oakland Victorian that partly collapsed March 13 onto a neighboring home was reduced to kindling Monday morning by a company hired to demolish it.

For the first time in more than a month, the owner of a Toyota camper parked in the adjacent driveway started up the vehicle. The camper had been inaccessible because of rubble on top of it but was only slightly damaged.

Elizabeth Taylor, the owner of the adjacent house in the 2400 block of Myrtle Street that suffered damage to its roof and security windows -- in addition to the camper -- surveyed the work and said, "Yes it's good, very good, believe you me."

She said the house that fell "has been an eyesore since 1986. The city should have demolished it sooner."

Taylor's boyfriend, William Davis, said at the time that he thought an earthquake had occurred when the Victorian collapsed.

The two-story wood-frame house had been under renovation when it tipped over onto Taylor's house about 8:25 p.m. March 13. The house was built in 1892, had six bedrooms and was valued at just under $400,000, officials said. Authorities said at the time that they thought it had fallen over because it had been improperly shored up.

Ownership of the Victorian has been in dispute for several years, and the city of Oakland was forced to hire Beliveau Engineering Contractors Inc. of Oakland to demolish the property. City officials are trying to determine who will reimburse them for the demolition work.


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Workers for the company started at 8 a.m. Monday using an excavator, and within a few hours the house had been reduced to a lengthy pile of wood and metal pipes. Trucks were supposed to come to the site Tuesday to haul away the remains.

Taylor and Davis are still wondering who is going to pay for the damage to their house and camper. So far they have not gotten any help from the city or their insurance carrier.

"Hopefully it's going to turn out good," Davis said.


A demolition crew levels a vacant house on Myrtle Street in West Oakland and clears debris off a truck April 21, 2014.  It has been more than a month since
A demolition crew levels a vacant house on Myrtle Street in West Oakland and clears debris off a truck April 21, 2014. It has been more than a month since the house collapsed onto the truck and the neighboring property. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)