Man narrowly escapes death as Oakland home collapses

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A 68-year-old man narrowly survived when a house under renovation in Oakland suddenly collapsed on Thursday.

"God ain't ready to see me yet," said Crosby Powell, known as "Bubba" by neighbors on 46th Street.

Powell says he was asleep when the house came crashing down, a little before noon. Neighbors helped pull him to safety and took him to a nearby hospital, but Powell escaped without a scratch and returned to the neighborhood by Thursday afternoon. He showed KTVU where a TV kept a wall from crushing him in the collapse.

"I was laying right there," said Powell pointing to a blanket. "And the house just went down."

Powell says the owner of the house allowed him to stay there while it was being remodeled in exchange for keeping an eye on the place. No work was being done on the house when it collapsed, but neighbors noticed a problem at least a day earlier.

"I heard a big crunch and looked outside and the house had fallen down. Yesterday, I noticed it was leaning to the side a little bit," said neighbor Michael Bennett.

The owner could not be reached for comment. Neighbors say he's successfully renovated other houses in the area.

Late Thursday, a City of Oakland building inspector "red tagged" a house next door which was also damaged. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

Powell, who's known and loved by neighbors for looking out for others on 46th Street, believes someone was looking out for him on this day.

"Yesterday, I got bit by a dog, a pit bull. Today a house fell on me," said Powell. "Thank God. He's definitely for real."