A blast from the past

The brokers downtown are a curious lot and prone to show unusual interfirm camaraderie. One friend who is now a very successful broker in San Francisco used to have his own firm here in NYC. At one point he decided to go corporate and took a job as manager of the recently acquired Chelsea office of one of the big uptown firms. A few weeks into his tenure he gave me a call to pick my brain about a situation that had arisen with one of their deals. They were already in contract on a loft on West 15th Street. I knew the building well having sold there, and this particular apartment was very quiet, faced north, and had pleasant views over the gardens that belonged to the buildings across the way. The loft owners had already moved out and the closing was a week away. The incoming owners were anxious to move in and asked the sellers directly if they might have their floor guy come in right away and refinish the floors. The sellers had agreed but my friend was thinking this might not be a good idea and wanted my partner's and my opinion. Our response was "ABSOLUTELY NOT", the potential liability issues were pretty scary to say the least. He agreed and decided to pressure the sellers to withdraw their offer, which they did.

But now (in the words of Paul Harvey) for the rest of the story. A few weeks later we got a call from our friend to tell us what he'd just heard: The closing had taken place on a Thursday, that Friday the floor guy came in and did the floors. On Sunday a woman who lived across the way did what she did every Sunday: picked up her Sunday Times, grabbed a cup of coffee, and came out to the garden patio to sit in her lounge chair and read the paper. This Sunday her phone rang and she went inside to pick it up. A couple of minutes into the conversation there was a loud bang followed by an incredible racket. The woman put down the phone to see what had happened and when she returned to the patio her lounge chair was buried under a pile of glass and bricks. Apparently, the floor guy had left the apartment windows closed, the fumes had built up over the weekend, and on Sunday morning the pilot light from the stove finally set them off, blowing out the back of the building sending debris onto the gardens below.
...Can you say "consensus decision-making".