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City condemns, demolishes Moore tornado-damaged home

MOORE, Okla. – A home that was damaged in the Moore tornado finally came crashing down last week, after the city condemned and demolished it.

It’s an update to a story we first told you about during the summer when we found out the homeowner was in a heated battle with his insurance company.

The homeowner’s insurance company, Foremost Insurance, which is a subsidiary of Farmer’s, told him his house was livable and could be fixed.

But Gabriel Becerra disagreed, saying it was so badly damaged it needed to be torn down.

Last Thursday as the snow and ice were coming down, his home finally came down as well.

A giant metal claw crunched through wood and bricks, erasing 15 years of memories for Gabriel and Claudia Becerra.

“You’ve been there for so long. It’s emotional. You know seeing that you walked through those walls, you played with your kids when they were little,” said Gabriel Becerra.

Claudia Becerra can’t talk about it without crying.

And yet, they knew it had to be done.

“All the walls were messing around, the ceiling was bad and you couldn’t live in there,” said Gabriel Becerra.

The City of Moore ultimately agreed, condemning the home and demolishing it.

The same house, Gabriel says his insurance adjuster told him he could live in while it was being fixed.

“I remember he told me live in here and the next day the ceilings were falling down. It was just unbelievable what he said,” said Gabriel Becerra.

Back in July, when we first talked to Becerra, he and his attorney showed us how the walls moved back and forth on the home that sits just behind the Warren Theater.

And the head of media relations for Farmer’s Insurance told us this in a Skype interview.

“We’re very bullish on the state of Oklahoma. And we want to do what’s right by our customers,” said Mark Toohey with Farmer’s Insurance.

“Well I think they’re bullies. They got that part right,” said Becerra’s attorney, Jeff Marr.

Marr says the lawsuit is now about more than just getting the Becerra’s money to rebuild their home.

“They need to be punished. I want the insurance company to have to disgorge the profits that they make from doing this kind of thing. Not just in Oklahoma, but everywhere,” said Marr.

The Becerras are suing Farmer’s and Foremost for breach of contract and seeking in excess of $75,000.

A spokesperson for Farmer’s Insurance said they wouldn’t comment because of the pending litigation.