TOWANDA – Part of a building in Towanda collapsed Wednesday evening, leaving 18 people displaced.
The three-story apartment building on Bridge Street began to crumble sometime around 9 p.m.
American Red Cross officials said eight families living there were able to escape without injury. The Red Cross is assisting those families after the building collapse.
"A big boom like a freight train coming through, I expected it, I watched, I knew it was going to come," said Michael Garinger.
Michael Garinger has been living at the apartment building in Towanda for five years and was sitting on his porch last night when he noticed the wall next to him start to come down.
Now, people from eight families with ages ranging from 3 to 59, are all without a place to live after part of their building collapsed.
Some businesses were also in the building, and the owners are surprised to see part of wall in rubble.
"It was scary for me because I did not know if it was going to collapse on me. I didn't know the extent so I was a little nervous, said Colleen Pozzi of C&B Unique Boutiques.
Residents who live at the apartment complex say the damage began on the ground floor and made its way up to the third floor.
Ray J'S Knight Out, the neighboring building, had to evacuate five upstairs rooms. Those families were able to come back.
Workers tell Newswatch 16 they've seen the conditions worsen over time at the apartment building next door.
"I've noticed more cracks since the weather un-thawed and there's been more cracks inside the building," said Monique Kisner of Ray J's.
Now with an uncertain future, Garinger and the rest of the apartment building tenants will have to depend on their landlord to see when or if they'll be able to move back in.
"I don't know right now. I don't know where we are going to go we don't have nowhere to go try to see if the Red Cross will help us," said Garinger.
Towanda borough officials tell Newswatch 16 they are waiting for a structural engineer to take a look before making a decision on what's next for the crumbling building. In the meantime, the tenants are staying at a nearby hotel.