Youngstown home's collapsing foundation is a mystery - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown home's collapsing foundation is a mystery

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Imagine being in bed one morning and realizing the loud noises you're hearing are a glass block window blowing out and your basement wall cracking and caving in.

That's what happened to one Youngstown family, and while the cause is a mystery, they say so is the lack of support from their insurance carrier.
From the outside of the house looking, in a tarp covers the caved in west side basement wall of the home that clearly is no longer on solid ground.

As we take a walk inside the home and down to the basement the cracked foundation is blatantly evident.

Homeowner Tim Tensley said, "If it wasn't for this pipe right here, this whole side, this whole west side of the house, would have collapsed in."

Back on February 16th Tensley's wife and two daughters were jolted out of their sleep by noises described like a break in.  

"The glass cinder blocks were popping out, were shattering out really fast and hard at her.  So she immediately woke up the girls and got them out of the house," Tensley said.

He advised his wife to call their insurance company that they've been with for more than 10 years and they were advised to get a contractor out to look at the home.  The contractor told them that in 30 years he had never seen anything like this and had no idea how to explain it.  But he advised them to immediately vacate the home for their own safety.

Tensley said, "We called the insurance company and asked if there was funds available to help us in an emergency move?  And their response was, 'I'm sorry we cannot help you until we can investigate it, and do you have any relative that you can go live with or friends you can stay with?'"

The insurance company called what happened erosion, and a mining company drilled in one spot but did not locate anything like an underground mine.

21 News called the Ohio Department Of Insurance and we're waiting to hear back about what else this family can do to protect what's been damaged and lost.

"To this day, the insurance company won't pay anything. In fact, they just closed the case," Tensley said.

For now, wooden beams have been installed in the basement as a temporary support so the foundation doesn't continue to cave-in.  

But Tensley and his wife say they still don't understand what's causing this collapse and they also want to know why their insurance company won't support them.

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