Cranmer Courts owner relieved building gone

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 02/11/2012

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People who took to the streets to protest against the demolition of the Cranmer Courts would have thought differently if they were inside the historic building when the September 2010 earthquake hit, says an apartment owner.

Chris Richards said it was a "miracle" his tenants were not killed that morning.

He has revealed photographs from inside his apartment that show the extent of the damage caused by the September 4, 2010 earthquake.

"In fact it was a miracle they [my tenants] survived. I would have been absolutely devastated had anyone been seriously hurt or killed from the quake."

Richards said he was shocked to see the images and immediately questioned the building's integrity.

"From that day on I was concerned about the building and the ability to survive another quake, yet it was considered safe by authorities. I thank God that the building had not been repaired and reoccupied by the time of the February [2011] quake as no one would have survived if they had been inside."

Richards said he "strongly supported" the demolition of the building.

"I wonder if the protesters would be so eager to demonstrate if they were inside the building when the earthquake occurred," he said.

The demolition also came as a blow to Richards who had dedicated years to restoring the property with his father, Reginald.

Demolition of Cranmer Courts is now complete.

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