It was the house at 2804 South Harrison that was supposed to be torn down.
Instead, the house next door was leveled by mistake.
Both properties were vacant and both were being targeted by inspectors.
The city of Little Rock says it is not liable for this blunder, leaving the property owner and contractor to seek a solution.
The house that now lies in ruin was inspected by the city of Little Rock five months ago.
The report informed the owner in mid-May that the home on his lot was "unsafe, unfit for human habitation, offensive to the neighborhood and dangerous."
The owner was given "15 days to begin substantial repairs."
The estimate for those repairs?
"I don't think Mr. Vernon has been damaged," says Little Rock attorney Mark Riable. "And in a way he has benefited to some degree from partial demolition of a house that I think is going to have to be demolished anyway."
Riable represents Youngblood Demolition and Excavation.
Riable says there is no doubt a mistake was made but he says Jessie Vernon is asking too much to make things right.
"I'm thinking a fair amount would be anywhere…$50,000…or below that, you know, something reasonable," says Vernon.
Vernon's property had not been condemned.
Vernon says he planned to remodel and rent out the home although no permits had been requested.
"Mr. Vernon has the right to demand whatever he wants to," says Riable. "But if his demand is unreasonable and my client is not willing to meet that demand then I guess a judge or a jury is going to have to decide what that house was really worth."
Youngblood offered to complete the excavation and charge only for labor. He also offered to buy Vernon another home in the neighborhood he could fix up and rent. Vernon has rejected both offers.
Air date: Sept. 6th, 2012
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