177 MacKenzie after it was fully demolished Monday afternoon (Photo by Ray Johnson)
Leland Bodenmiller, his wife, and their three children are breathing much easier, as the Department of Buildings granted a quick 20-minute reprieve to enter their condemned home and retrieve personal possessions.
The demolition of 177 MacKenzie Street took enough stress off the Bodenmiller’s home that, with the addition of braces, building inspectors gave the green light to a quick in-and-out rescue operation.
“It was a great effort to get things out of the house and onto the lawn in 15 or 20 minutes,” said Leland. “We had to run and grab .. Whatever we have used recently, we grabbed.”
Bodenmiller said the family was able to snatch clothing, computers, photos, his wife’s wedding dress, some smaller furniture, and their son’s engineering books – among other things.
The 20 minutes “really opened it up. Precious things that were personal to us [were recovered],” he said. “We weren’t able to get some things, but we’re happy about what we got.”
Some valuables left behind include televisions, china and crystals from their wedding 35 years ago, a telescope, organ, and larger furniture.
But the Bodenmillers may have another chance. The DOB has given the landlord a one-week deadline to demolish the property since it’s no longer in immediate danger of collapsing, though it’s still condemned. Bodenmiller is hopeful the DOB may give them one more opportunity to get into the house.
“It’s like the weather,” Bodenmiller said. “Yesterday it was rainy and dreary and we couldn’t get in the house. Now it’s sunny and beautiful and we’re very happy we got to go inside.”