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Residents Of SoHo Building Return After Evacuation

Inspection Found No Structural Problems
Firefighters stand outside 188 Sixth Ave. on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010 WINS)

Firefighters stand outside 188 Sixth Ave. on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of a SoHo building have begun returning to their homes Thursday night after city officials evacuated it out of fears that it was structurally unsound.

Some residents called 311 on Thursday afternoon when the building shaking, creeking and cracking, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported. They blamed the construction of a 16-story building next door.

“I’m on the sixth floor, and the building shakes,” one resident told CBS 2. “Here’s a tenement that’s nearly 100 years old built on rubble. You’re building a 16-story building next door that would come what they call ‘kissing distance’ from my kitchen window. That sounds dangerous to me.”

At around 4:30 p.m., the FDNY ordered everyone out of the building — located at 188 Sixth Ave., near Spring Street. Department of Buildings officials spent the evening inspecting the building, but found no problems. They allowed residents to re-enter the building around 8 p.m.

“We observed the construction site,” said Timothy Lynch, a structural engineer with the buildings department. “There’s some new foundation work under way next door. The existing building … is stable.”

Seventeen apartments and two businesses were evacuated, fire officials said.

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