The house that Exxon demolished

Zillow36 N. Starlite Rd., in happier days.

If you wish to bid Jose Modica and Daneshia Roberts-Modica farewell in the wake of the tar-sands oil spill that wrecked their Mayflower, Ark., neighborhood in the spring, don’t bother sending the flowers to their 36 N. Starlite Rd. address.

The couple bought the four-bedroom house last year for $180,000. Then the oil spill happened, and their family was never allowed to return. So they sold it to Exxon in August for $3,000 less than they had paid.

Let’s call them motivated sellers.

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On Monday, Exxon took a bulldozer to the former family home, along with another that used to belong to their neighbors a couple doors down.

Since ruining the neighborhood with its pipeline rupture, Exxon has become something of a local real estate tycoon in Mayflower — specializing in sullied property.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that the energy giant has purchased five of the 22 homes that were evacuated in the wake of the oil spill — and that it is in talks to purchase more:

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The demolition process took 45 minutes to an hour for each home. Crews used Mayflower fire trucks and hoses for dust control.

[Exxon spokesman Aaron] Stryk said it would take about two weeks to remove debris and landscape the area, and all work will be done during typical working hours.

He said the decision to demolish the two homes was a recent one, and was determined to be the most effective and efficient way to remove contaminated soil.

Stryk said he doesn’t have information about the depth of the excavation but said new dirt would be brought in, and the lots would be sodded.

Stryk said the two lots owned by Exxon will remain as “green space.”

Here’s hoping some neighbors can pick up the oil-stained pieces of their lives and actually enjoy that “green space.”