NEW ORLEANS — Two shotgun double homes in Tremé crashed down Wednesday morning, injuring four workers who were in the process of raising one of the homes, the New Orleans Fire Department said.
Both homes were considered blighted, according to Department of Code Enforcement records, something the nonprofit that owns them said it was trying to remedy.
New Orleans EMS was called to the 1300 block of Gov. Nicholls Street about 11:45 a.m. and requested the New Orleans Fire Department to the scene in case people were trapped in the homes, according to NOFD officials.
Six units arrived and searched the collapsed homes but found no one inside, the NOFD said in a news release.
Paramedics brought the four injured workers to a local hospital for treatment.
One worker suffered a shoulder injury, and another had a broken arm, the NOFD said. Information on the other two workers’ injuries were not immediately available.
According to city assessor records, the two properties, at 1312 Gov. Nicholls St. and 1316 Gov. Nicholls St., are owned by Providence Community Housing, a local nonprofit and developer associated with the reconstruction of the Lafitte Housing Development, now known as Faubourg Lafitte.
Providence also has been involved with several moves of homes from the site of the new VA Hospital in Mid-City. Many of those homes, however, have been slow to be moved to new locations, and several have been left open to the elements.
The city last April inspected the property at 1312 Gov. Nicholls St., according to Department of Code Enforcement Records. The city found Providence guilty of blight in regard to that home in October, according to records.
The city also found Providence guilty of blight at the property at 1316 Gov. Nicholls St., according to code enforcement records.
Both of those cases were still active Wednesday, according to code enforcement records.
Andreanecia Morris, Providence’s vice president for homeownership and community development, said that the organization was “distressed” at the loss of the homes but “grateful” that the injuries the workers from PAR Contractors suffered were not more serious.
Morris said that while the homes were considered blighted, Providence had been cleared to allow work to begin on the homes in an effort to restore them and to have the blight status removed. Additionally, she said, the organization had stabilized and secured the homes.
She noted that PAR has worked with Providence on projects in the past without incident.
Morris said Providence purchased the homes “to return them to their former glory and return much needed affordable housing to Tremé.”
Morris said the city and Historic District Landmarks Commission expedited permits and that debris removal was underway Wednesday afternoon. Demolition and limited salvage would begin early Thursday, she said.
The two homes were part of the offsite rentals for the Faubourg Lafitte development, Morris said.
Providence has completed 47 of those units so far, Morris said, and the two homes that collapsed Wednesday would have added another nine units for low- to moderate-income families.
The cause of the collapse remained unknown Wednesday, Morris and NOFD officials said.