Displaced residents frustrated as demolition begins on FQ building

Displaced residents frustrated as demolition begins on FQ building

Demolition cranes began tearing down what's left of a collapsed building in the French Quarter, but some residents are complaining after being forced out of their homes for three days.

Bricks and mortar crumbled like powder as demolition crews began removing what is left of a collapsed building at 808 Royal St.

"Our mission talks about life and property. We're fortunate we haven't lost anybody," said New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell.

It's a delicate operation, which has forced several business owners, and residents on either side of the property to be evacuated, and have to stay in hotels, for three days.

"Coming out of my own pocket, and not being able to work, that's been frustrating," said St Ann Street resident Sherry Dooley

The building, which is owned by Elaine Petrie, began crumbling Tuesday, with a near total collapse on Wednesday.

" I've been here seven years, the only thing that's been done is the front was painted," said neighbor Lawrence Tullier.

While work crews took away what's left of the collapsed building some of the residents displaced were confused about some of the rules being applied to this block.

"You would think you would be afraid of a gas explosion, our gas is still on," said Tullier.

"That gas was unaffected, so there was no reason to cut it off," said McConnell.

Neighbors say the building owner, who was cited for demolition by neglect three years ago, according to the Vieux Carre commission, has made an offer to displaced residents, to pay mounting hotel bills. as they wait for word as to when they can go home.

"We'll know if we need to check out of our $220 a night hotel room that we're paying for," said Tullier.

Fire officials hope to have the site stabilized soon. But they say complete demolition work could take several more days. the city has so far not issued any new citations to the property owner.

If you're driving through the French Quarter anytime soon, be aware. The 800 block of Royal St. remains closed until the demolition site is cleared.

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