TAIPEI, Taiwan — A homeowner who reportedly refused passage to first responders because she didn't want her home listed as involved in an unnatural death has been on the receiving end of some cosmic justice, with the home flagged as such anyway.
It started when an electrician fell 2 meters to the ground while he was installing an air conditioner outside a home in New Taipei on Aug. 11.
According to an online article written by someone claiming to be a volunteer involved in the rescue, the owner refused to let firefighters through her home to the back alley where he fell because she did not want the apartment to be associated with the death.
According to the article, the homeowner's decision delayed the rescue by around 15 minutes. The injured man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
But in an at least somewhat satisfying twist, the homeowner's alleged actions might have ended up causing what she had been seeking to avoid.
After the article was reported on by media outlets last week, the home was soon listed in an online "unlucky house database."
Properties in which people die of unnatural causes such as homicide, suicide and by accident are regarded by some as unlucky — a label that can drastically reduce its price on the market.
In Taiwan, sellers of these unlucky houses are obliged to notify potential buyers of the properties' status, which is legally regarded as a flaw. Online databases, with many entries based on news report, are a popular means for people to keep track of unlucky houses.
There are no clear legal definitions of an unlucky house. In court precedents, unlucky houses have been referred to as individual apartments — but not the entire buildings the apartments belong to — where deaths from unnatural causes have occurred.
If an unlucky house has been changed drastically to the degree that the social stigma of unluckiness can be deemed removed, the property is not considered unlucky anymore.