Emergency demolition of two homes wrecked in Sunday's plane crash

Two people remain in the hospital in the wake of the tragic plane crash Sunday.

In the meantime, one South Bend neighborhood, at the center of all the chaos continues to take steps forward.

Former Tulsa firefighter, Jim Rodgers is still in serious condition and his son-in-law, Christopher Evans, remains in fair condition.
For many, the journey that brought these residents to this point is indescribable.

Residents say it was a quiet area here on North Iowa Street but about a week ago everything changed.

A premier jet coming in from Oklahoma crashed into three homes killing two and sending only a few to the hospital.

“I am surprised that they survived. Matter of fact, two people on the plane that survived out of the four,” says Frank Sojka whose house was hit by the plane.

But on Friday…

“The city’s getting all of the utilities shut off to the two homes that are going to be demolished. They pose a problem to public safety hazard right now,” says South Bend Fire Chief, Steve Cox.

For some, that means more than 50 years of memories torn down in an instant.

“I don't know if you can explain it, I mean you can think of all kind of words to use but it’s devastating,” says one neighbor, Stanley Klaybor.

“It’s really difficult. Like I said, you lose everything. It’s hard to emphasize what everything means, everything,” says another neighbor, Bruce Strnad.

“I guess, I don't know, I can't explain it. It’s such a shock you know. I wish this hadn't happened you know. At my age, I don't need this,” Sojka continues.

Once the demolition is done, basements are filled with dirt, public safety needs are met and all potential hazards have been cleared, things will get turned back over to the homeowners.

“It’s very difficult often times for an individual to actually look at something like this as it happens and be able to really gage what happened until you actually have some time to reflect on it. It was, I think we are all still going through that somewhat,” Chief Cox continues.

Inserv, which is an environmental industrial service, was at the scene again Friday.

They said that they were in the basements of the homes and everything was dry so really no fuel.

They said they will continue to do testing, but the fact that the plane was probably near empty when it got to South Bend makes them confident that there shouldn't be a problem.


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