Wind to blame for partial building collapse that crushed car

Justin Udo
February 25, 2019 - 2:27 pm
Officials say the wind is to blame for a partial building collapse at Fifth and Master streets in Kensington.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 5.15 p.m. 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Officials say the wind is to blame for a partial building collapse at Fifth and Master streets in Kensington — as well as the aging building itself.

Part of the roof and a wall are missing from the old garage and vacant building. For Chris Gillespie, it was quite the site to see when he stepped outside Monday morning.

"I was thinking, it's about time for that wall. It seems like it had been leaning for a long time," he noted. "I probably should have called L&I earlier, so I feel like kind of a rube."

The bricks from the collapse crushed a BMW that was parked in the lot next to the building.

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Gillespie said he's just glad things were not worse.

"Thankfully no one was hurt. I guess it's kind of the cost of doing business up here with all these old buildings," he added.

Officials say the wind is to blame for a partial building collapse at Fifth and Master streets in Kensington.
Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

Karen Guss with Licenses and Inspections says this building was not kept up by the owner and became a public safety threat.

"There will be violations issued on this property and certainly the owners will be billed for the cost of any cleanup and any additional demolition work that has to be done," Guss said. 

Guss says they've seen a number of older structures fall victim to the high winds, but new sites are at risk too.

"We've also been urging construction sites to batten down the hatches, make sure everything is secure," Guss added. 

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The space is owned by a local company, according to Gillespie, and is used as a parking lot.

If anything, he thinks the collapse will be used to speed up development in the area.