Saturday, February 21, 2015

Investigation underway into partial wall collapse in Bristol

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015
A large section of a second-floor wall collapsed at a nearly 100-year-old row house Monday night in Bristol, hours after the borough scheduled a safety inspection, according to a Bristol fire official.
Fire Chief Herb Slack did not know the circumstances of what led to the inspection, which was scheduled to take place Tuesday.
Prior to the collapse, part of Pine Street near the home was blocked to pedestrians earlier Monday as a precaution.
No injuries were reported, but residents of at least five homes along the 800 block of Pine Street were temporarily evacuated when the collapse happened around 4:30 p.m. Bricks and other debris landed on a gas meter below resulting in a leak, Slack said.
The home where the incident occurred — an end unit — was built in 1917, according to county property records.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately known and an investigation will take place, Slack said. He added that the remaining section of the wall is bowed and there is a danger of additional collapse.
PECO Energy crews cut off power to the home and secured the gas main. By 8 p.m., neighbors were allowed to return to their homes, but the home where the collapse occurred is uninhabitable, Slack said.
With a danger of further collapse, Pine Street at Spring Street will remain closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic at least overnight with fire police securing the area, Slack said.
The partial building collapse was the second in Bristol in three months.
A 58-year-old Newtown man was seriously injured in November after the overhanging bay on a historic 19th-century Radcliffe Street building he was renovating collapsed, causing him to plunge two stories to the sidewalk where he was buried under debris.
A borough investigation found a mistake during removal of the building’s roof rafters led to the partial collapse.

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