Planning for Demolition of Crumbling Mahanoy City Building

MAHANOY CITY -- Crews are facing the challenge of bringing down a crumbling vacant building safely before it collapses.

Workers are still trying to figure out just how to demolish the Kaier Brewery building in Mahanoy City.

More than 20 people were forced out of their homes Tuesday after bricks started falling from the old Kaier brewery building on North Main Street.

Now they have been told that they will be out of their homes for at least three days, if not longer.

Wednesday afternoon, officials said a demolition company from Dunmore will be called in to work on knocking down the building.

West End Fire and Rescue used a drone to take video of the Kaier Brewery building just a couple weeks ago. It shows the worsening condition of the old brewery.

It's been empty for decades.

Frank and Caroline Griechen live right across the street from the Kaier building on North Main Street in Mahanoy City. They were sitting at home when they got a knock on the door and were told to leave.

"So you are running around trying to grab things and it's impossible to think of everything when you are in a rush. I mean I think it's tilted a lot more," said Caroline Gober Griechen.

Emergency crews held a meeting Wednesday morning and said there will not be a crane or any sort of scheduled demolition.

The building is leaning and officials say they are prepared for the worst.

"You don't know what gravity is going to do. The building construction, the way it's twisting, it may twist and come straight down. There's going to be some blowback possibly. We are preparing," said West End Fire and Rescue Lt. Dave Truskowsky.

At this point, emergency officials are trying to determine the safest route to take down the building.

Electric wires that supply Mahanoy City could be in danger depending on how the building falls.

Without the proper equipment, they are prepared for the worst.

"As far as any action taken on the building, no. The building can come down at any moment and if that happens, we just have to change the game plan a little bit," said Truskowsky.

We noticed a change in the building just in just a few hours. The star on top was intact Wednesday morning and broken up the afternoon.

Although those who live close to the building are ready for it to come down so they can return home, they will miss it.

"It's sad," said Michael Fetco.  "When I was a kid, that was still in business. That was one of the historical things left in town and it's going to be gone."

"I grew up right across the street. My grandmother had a tap room there and I said my dad used to take me to see them wash the barrels in the back. I really had a good experience with the brewery," Greichen added.

The Red Cross is still assisting the 21 people who were displaced.

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