Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Bethany Clough

1/14/2009 (6 years ago)

McClatchy Newspapers (www.mctdirect.com)

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) - The jaws of an excavator raised high up into the air in front of a cheering crowd before plunging through the roof of the Riojas family house Saturday.

Highlights

By Bethany Clough

McClatchy Newspapers (www.mctdirect.com)

1/14/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Home & Food


Demolition of the house in Fresno, Calif., is the first major step in rebuilding a new home on the site for the family chosen for ABC's hit television show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

It took mere minutes for the machine to destroy the house by punching through the roof, knocking down walls and pulling down a fence _ all while keeping a nearby bush intact.

Crews will build a 3,200-square-foot house in just 106 hours on the same lot. The new house will allow owner Mary Ann Riojas, 37 _ who was born with no legs and one stunted arm _ to maneuver easily throughout the premises in her wheelchair.

Neighbors and about 300 volunteers in hard hats _ many of them workers who will return to build the new house _ watched from across East Robinson Avenue.

Many had arrived about six hours earlier to participate in what the crew called a "Braveheart march" to the front yard, where the screaming crowd raced to the house followed by a front-end loader.

They huddled for speeches by the Riojas' friends, builders Jerry and Paula De Young and the show's host, Ty Pennington. A camera on a long arm hovered above the crowd, who did the march and many of the speeches twice for the cameras.

Neighbor Dale "Babe" Zanovich hauled a fire pit onto his driveway across the street to watch the show with neighbors. For the demolition, he climbed up a ladder onto the roof of his carport and watched from his perch on a lawn chair.

"It was wonderful, but it was awful sorrowful too," said Zanovich, who cringed along with his significant other Connie Carter as they watched a house in relatively good shape reduced to a pile of rubble.

"It's a miracle in the making," he said.

After Riojas and her four teenage children were whisked to a vacation in Colorado Thursday, workers began preparing the house for demolition.

Clothing and other personal items had been carted out.

Trace amounts of asbestos were found in the walls and flooring, so an abatement team from Parc Environmental tore out the internal plaster walls and removed much of the flooring, said construction manager Mike De Young.

Thursday, the workers dressed in white suits and purple face masks worked. Friday, they repeatedly ran in and out of the house cheering and screaming for television cameras.

At 9:30 p.m. Friday, workers discovered their first major complication: The pipe connecting the house to the main water line under the street was where the new design called for a driveway to be installed, De Young said. City crews "came out and pulled an all-nighter" to move the pipe to the other side of the yard, he said, finishing about 3 a.m.

Trucks lined the street Saturday, waiting to carry debris to a Kroeker Inc. sorting facility, where De Young said he anticipates 80 percent of it can be recycled.

He said they had hoped to donate the windows and an air-conditioning unit removed from the roof via crane, but they either did not meet current energy standards or information could not be found to see if they did, he said.

"Crash cameras" inside the house captured some of the destruction on film for the show, which will air in March.

At one point, cameras filmed host Pennington running away from the house as it collapsed. He later stood on the edge of the rubble, filming himself with a hand-held camera, a trademark feature of the show.

Volunteer Diane Fischer of Madera, Calif., was beaming after the demolition. She arrived at 5:30 a.m. to join in the march.

"It was so nice to help somebody out that is so deserving," said Fischer, who stood close to the cast in the huddle. "I got to hold Ty's camera. I was just so excited."

___

© 2009, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.).


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Home & Food

What is America's favorite fast-food chain? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite the controversy and series of protests fast food chain, Chick-fil-A faced a few years ago, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report 2015, Chick-fil-A still ranked the highest fast-food chain in the U.S. in terms of customer ... continue reading


Internet killed at German luxury hotel Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "kill switch" has been installed inside every room at a luxury hotel in Germany, providing their guests the power to disconnect from the world during their stay at the hotel. Rooms' walls have special coatings to block about 96 percent of Wi-Fi signals coming from ... continue reading


Unbelievable hidden object discovered behind pricey Monet original painting Watch

Image of Claude Monet was a famous impressionism painter.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British art gallery director Jonathan Green felt he won another prize after discovering a seperate hidden Claude Monet piece after the two pastels he won from an auction were reframed. Green admitted the discovery was exciting, but remarked that the hidden pastel is ... continue reading


Ice cream lovers' dream come true: 3 delicious different ways to enjoy ice cream Watch

Image of Whether in a cone or in a bowl, ice cream is always good.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's nothing better than having a bowl, or two, of ice cream.  Whether you eat it straight from the pint, or scoop it into a bowl, this decadent dessert is something that will "warm" your heart. Though eating ice cream, as is without any toppings, is ... continue reading


Genetically modified florescent jellyfish lamb dangerously finds its way to French dinner plates Watch

Image of A florescent glowing Lamb ended up as dinner for some French restaurant attendees.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The sale and consumption of genetically modified food products is strictly illegal in the country of France. However, Europe's top agricultural research institute recently experienced a crisis when a genetically modified lamb quite mysteriously found its way into a ... continue reading


3 summertime foods to avoid Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obviously, summer has officially arrived. Welcoming summer means welcoming new food, too. Hello to barbecued hot dogs, chicken wings and slushies. What you might not know though is that these foods actually make you fat. Luckily, there are ways to fix that. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


SNAKES IN THE WALLS: Annapolis couple sues realtor after learning their home is infested with snakes Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A couple from Annapolis is suing their realtor and home's former owner for $2 million, claiming they knew the $410,000 house was infested with snakes. Despite spending $50,000 trying to get rid of the snakes, up to 7-feet long, the couple was unable to get rid of them ... continue reading


Case against Christian owners of 'Sweet Cakes by Melissa' reopened after conflict of interest revealed Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein's court case may be reopened in a civil court, after it was revealed that the administrative officials and gay rights activists had been communicating closely. These allegations are cause for the defendants to ... continue reading


Store brand vs. name brand: Are you making the right choices? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the growing demand for affordable and budget friendly food products it's not surprising to find more and more people who prefer to buy store brand or store label products at grocers, rather than the name brand. However, according to the latest survey of ... continue reading


10 unbelievable uses for clear nail polish Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who would have thought that there are more uses for your clear nail polish other than simply being used as a top coat? With some help from the Daily Mail, set your manicure plans aside, take your bottle of clear polish and start using it in one or all of these hacks: ... continue reading


All Home & Food News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter