NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Demolition crews are expected to be at the site Tuesday morning of a partial building collapse to finish the job that started when a wall came tumbling down in Carroll Gardens.
Twenty-one adults and six children are homeless, some from four-story brownstone and others from neighboring buildings that were also evacuated as crews prepare to tear the building down.
The entire side of 241 Carroll Street collapsed early Monday morning.
Howard Schneider owns the building and was away on vacation with his wife and two daughters when his home fell apart. Firefighters said their bottom floor unit took the brunt of the damage.
“Most of it collapsed into the children’s’ bunk beds on the first floor,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief James Leonard. “So they were very, very fortunate that they were on vacation.”
The home was built in the mid-1800s and was designed to interlock with others on the block. Inspectors are now concerned about the structural soundness of those buildings as well and evacuated three neighboring brownstones as a precaution.
It could be weeks before residents are allowed back inside.
“It was a little scary,” said evacuated resident Scott Lehr. “We rallied. I mean the kids were a little scared, but I think everybody’s fine now.”
The collapse was likely caused by age rather than neglect, inspectors said, though they’re investigating everything and said they won’t know for sure for weeks or even months.
“Wood rots, the mortar between the bricks just gets old and starts to fall apart,” said Leonard.
Based on a preliminary investigation, inspectors said it appears the building was up to code and there were no violations or complaints against the four-family home.
A family of six, including three young children, were sleeping upstairs at the time of the collapse. They managed to escape without injury.
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