Hazelwood homeowner can only watch, as ground falls away from home

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HAZELWOOD, MO (KPLR) - It looks like an earthquake hit in Hazelwood.  A ground collapse has claimed one home and appears to be ready to take another.

One house has already been condemned. The owner of the house next door worries his place is next.

The one house has just cracked in half.  Next door, a close to 15-foot wide swath of back yard is caving in.

The yard collapsed 2-3 feet on one side and 2-3 feet on the other.

“You can see it’s dropped on both sides.  I believe it’s a tunnel washed out.  MSD, they’ve denied it but they won’t do anything to confirm it’s not their storm sewer,” said home owner, David Brusca.

He took ownership of the house after his mother passed away last year.  The ground was firm for most of the 50 years she lived here, he said.

He admitted he repaired minor ground breaks in the past.

In December, the patio his dad built gave way overnight; most of the rest of yard did too, he said.

He traced a map of storm sewer lines to a drain pipe in a wooded area behind his neighborhood, seemingly pointed straight along the fault line in his yard, lining up directly with the broken foundation of the house next door which has been condemned.

He worries his house could suffer the same fate.

“I was trying to sell the house.  I got it all cleaned out.  I got everything ready.  I’m calling the realtor the next week and then this happened,” he said.

MSD spokesman, Lance LeComb told FOX 2 a failed slope problem from poor ground compaction during construction was to blame.

If that was the case, Brusca figured this would have happened long ago.

The city of Hazelwood and MSD canceled a recent meeting with Brusca because of bad weather.

They have yet to reschedule.