LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Three workers were injured when a house they were raising on Kansas Road in the Osborn Island section of the township collapsed Wednesday.

Lt. Troy Bezak said that just after 5 p.m., police received a 911 call about the house collapse. Cpl. Chris Arciniegas, Officers Tom McAnney and Joe Falkiewicz arrived at 3 Kansas Road where the three workers had escaped from the home.

Workers from Eco-Friendly Builders, of Middletown, were in the process of raising the home that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, Bezak said.

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Bezak said just days after the storm he was talking to the owners of the home that was used as a vacation property. Richard and Martina Rhyner were devastated by the hurricane damage, Bezak said.

"Today the workers pretty much had the house lifted and they said they heard a noise and that they didn't know what it was. And then the house shifted forward," Bezak said.

One of the injured was flown by helicopter to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Campus in Atlantic City with back, neck and foot injuries, police said. The other two were taken to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township.

A group of workers from Eco-Friendly Building who declined to be interviewed left the home and said they were going to visit their injured coworkers in the hospital.

Police and neighbors gathered on the street Wednesday evening. An orange sticker was placed on the side of the house indicating the building was unsafe for human occupancy.

Inside the crumpled structure were pieces of stacked wood that were used in raising the home. Steel beams protruded from the home's windows.

Jim and Lisa Healey, of the Mystic Island section of the township, stood across the street from the collapsed home and assessed the damage.

"This shouldn't happen. It's never happened to me and I've been doing this for 30 years," said Jim Healey, who owns J&M Construction in Little Egg Harbor.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the scene and the collapse.

Contact Donna Weaver:


Follow Donna Weaver on Twitter @DonnaKWeaver

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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