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Residents Of Chelsea Apartment Building Evacuated After Facade Collapses

Entrance To 655 6th Ave., Where Facade Collapsed (credit: Google Maps)

Entrance To 655 6th Ave., Where Facade Collapsed (credit: Google Maps)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Parts of the facade of a 7-story apartment building in Chelsea have collapsed onto the sidewalk, according to the fire department.

The incident happened at 655 Sixth Avenue near West 21st Street around 7:30 Christmas night.

Parts of some decorative pillars that stand between the building’s windows have crumbled into a 4-to-5-foot-tall pile in the street.

All residents of the building have been evacuated and the MTA has a bus on scene to help shelter the few dozen evacuees, according to the FDNY.

The block-long, 1887 building on Sixth Avenue was originally a department store. It was converted into 49 condominiums in recent years.

Buildings Department records show the facade was inspected in February and declared safe.

Records show some sprinkler system work and first-floor restaurant renovation have been under way in recent months.

Fire officials said no one was injured in the facade collapse.

It’s not clear how extensive the damage is to the building.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)