1 dead, 1 injured after row home collapses in Brewerytown

The 60-year-old victim, a professional contractor, grew up in the area.

Kristen Johanson
June 04, 2018 - 11:35 am
A row home collapsed on N. Bailey Street in Brewerytown while a contractor was inside demolishing the building.

Kristen Johanson/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A partial house collapse in North Philadelphia's Brewerytown neighborhood Monday morning has killed one man and injured another — and now city and federal investigators are trying to piece together what caused the abandoned house to fall apart. 

Just before 11 a.m., a two-story row home at Jefferson and Bailey streets being demolished from the inside piece by piece suddenly fell to the ground. 

"Four minutes later, our units arrived on scene to find two people trapped," Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said. 

The 60-year-old victim, a professional contractor, grew up in the area. Friends and neighbors are shocked by the tragedy.

One person was able to get out, but it took several dozen rescue workers to sift through the rubble to find the other man.

"We were able to recover another victim. He was actually in a very difficult spot inside the building," Thiel said.

"I do the same work," Wayne Johnson, a friend, said. "I just got the call, so I came up. It’s a rough thing."

Johnson said his friend was a "real good guy" who would give you the shirt off of his back.

Another friend, Art Murray, said, "That’s my man. We grew up together from kids, so it’s just hard, man."

He was my best friend," added Shawn Speedwell. "He was at my wedding. We grew up together, we went to school together, we played in this playground."

An official for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections says the victim was a licensed contractor with a permit to demolish the home. They have not released the victim's identity.