Wahiawa home that collapsed on worker sold in March for $359K

Men working on Wahiawa collapsed home had no contractor's license
(Image: Google images)
(Image: Google images)
John White (Image: Hawaii News Now)
John White (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The worker who was pinned under the Wahiawa home that collapsed Tuesday and the business contact in the police report have no contractor's license.

Both the state and the city have launched investigations, and the state's Department of Labor's spokesman said personnel have been having difficulty finding a name for the company and owner responsible.

The 30-year-old construction worker who was crushed by the home and trapped for about 40 minutes suffered serious injuries to his leg.

The renovation work didn't have the proper permits.

John White, executive director of Pacific Resource Partnership, which represents the Hawaii Carpenters union and about 240 contractors said unpermitted work isn't unusual in the islands.

"There are probably hundreds of instances where unlicensed work is happening, or contractors that aren't playing by the rules, and you end up seeing instances like the home that could have killed someone," White said.

The home was built in 1938, and was sold less than three weeks ago for $359,000.

The real estate agent who sold the home said the value is in the land and it was in writing the house is in "very poor condition."

White said a lack of proper licensing can lead to unsafe conditions.

"Oftentimes, they build things that are unsafe, they cheat taxpayers because a lot of times they're not paying taxes, and ultimately they don't provide the quality kind of work that a person should expect," he said. "Unfortunately, you end up seeing instances like the home recently that basically fell on itself."

White said it's relatively common for buyers to fix up old homes and put them back on the market.

But he said homeowners should watch out for unlicensed construction workers.

"For those who wanna buy a home, flip it, then sell it back, I would say that you get what you pay for," White said.

"If you're bringing someone in that doesn't know what they're doing, they're not licensed, and they're gonna break the rules, and they're offering to do it at a price that sounds good, probably is gonna be too good to be true because there's a lot of people out there looking for this kind of activity and if you're caught, the fines are pretty significant."

The builders and new owners refused to comment.

The city ordered the owners to remove the debris from the property and to obtain a demolition permit. A demolition crew applied for a permit for demolition and removal on Thursday.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now.  All rights reserved.