Partial Collapse of Historic Building
By: CJ Cassidy
Cape Girardeau, MO - N
Firefighters say the building has been condemned, they just don't know when it'll be torn down.That means the barricades around the building will stay up until the building is demolished, which could take a few days.
In the meantime, everyone we spoke with is just happy no one was hurt."I saw a big old cloud of smoke, and the whole roof just fell. It felt like a big bomb or something," Patricia Hunt says.
"I didn't know if it was an earthquake or whether they were tearing it down or what," another man says. Eyewitnesses in the area say they were flabbergasted when they saw the front of an apartment complex come crashing down.
"We're really grateful we weren't walking there and nobody got hurt," Claudette Rager tells Heartland News, adding she always walks her pet pooch in front of the building.
"You got kids around here playing one of them could have easily got killed," Richard Jones says. Jones was riding his bike past the building when he saw parts of it crumple, and he rushed to the fire department to get help.
"We have cars normally park alongside the building we have people that walk up and down the sidewalk. There's no warning," Assistant Fire Chief Mark Hasheider points out.
Firefighters reacted quickly, making sure the building was empty, before figuring out what caused the collapse.
"The parapet wall which is the top wall of the building fell over and took off the front porch and bay windows. In old buildings sometimes that gravity will overcome bricks and pull them down," Hasheider explains.
This isn't the first collapse firecrews have dealt with, and they know it won't be the last, but eyewitnesses say the close call leaves them counting their blessings.
"You just never know. You could have something fall apart on you in a New York minute," Jones says.
Firefighters say the one tenant in this apartment building wasn't home at the time of the collapse.Some folks who live in the building behind it have also been asked to move out until the building is torn down.