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Fort Lauderdale home crushed by crane feels like ‘a haunted house’ as it awaits repair

Thankfully nobody was at home or injured, but Heather Riggs is still in shock after a crane collapsed on her house Friday, causing major damage.
Thankfully nobody was at home or injured, but Heather Riggs is still in shock after a crane collapsed on her house Friday, causing major damage.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Heather Riggs is still in shock after a crane collapsed on her home Friday.

Fortunately, the family was on vacation and nobody was hurt. But the Fort Lauderdale homeowner says she’s frustrated by how slowly those responsible are moving to fix it.

“As soon as I pulled up I can’t even describe the shell shock,” Riggs said Monday. “I look at the house and I don’t know the next step.”

Tarps on the roof were just installed Monday afternoon at the home on NE 57th Street.

Apparently, neighbors were having a shed lifted over their house and into the backyard when the crane collapsed.

Fort Lauderdale police happened to be outside for a different call when it happened, and their body-worn cameras captured the crane crashing down.

It appears the crane’s supports were resting on the grass above a septic tank, which gave way under the machine’s weight, causing it to tip over and crash through the roof next door.

Inside the Riggs' home, it’s absolute devastation. And three days later, gaping holes in the roof were still open.

“This furniture is four weeks old,” Heather Riggs said. “It was just purchased.”

Added her son Justin Riggs: “I was inside as the rain was trickling in, and over the days you start to see the water damage and the seepage.”

Heather Riggs says she’s hoping her neighbors, the company operating the crane, and the insurance companies, will step up and do the right thing.

“It wasn’t an act of god, it was avoidable,” she said. “This was error, human error, and I’m paying the price for it.”

Right now there is 24/7 security at the home, but they are in a holding pattern until the insurance companies come out to assess the damage.

“It’s emotional,” Justin Riggs said. “It feels like it’s a haunted house.”


About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.