MAHANOY CITY -- For a building that was supposed to be on the verge of collapse, the old Kaier Brewery in Mahanoy city has proven difficult to bring down.
Demolition crews expected to tear down the abandoned building by midafternoon. Now, those at the scene are not sure when they'll finish the job.
The crane-like machine known as an excavator bashed away at the walls of the top floor of the old Kaier brewery in Mahanoy City after noon Thursday.
But instead of coming down all at once, parts of the building fell off chunk by chunk, and what was supposed to be a two-hour job turned into a much longer demolition.
As the excavator banged away at the building's steel columns, spectators marveled at how the old brewery would not buckle.
"They're really built, they're not like the homes today. They're really banging away at that, and it's staying there," said resident Barry Zimmerman.
"It was really built up strong. My dad used to tell us, he said, 'I don't think anything will bring this building down," added Sandi Kufro.
It is taking a lot of time and power to knock down the old brewery. And while demolition hasn't been quick, safety officials say a slow demolition is better than having the building fall with one strike as many feared.
"This doesn't seem to be the case in this situation because it is piece by piece. There is some dust, but it's not that bad," said Mahanoy City Fire Lt. Dave Truskowsky.
Fire officials tell us the 20 people who lived close to the building will likely have to wait at least another day before moving back to their homes.
Crews will work until dark, and if they cannot finish the demolition by then, they'll meet to decide the next step.
The state Department of Environmental Protection will monitor the air quality for the dust that will result from the demolition
Fire officials say that after the demolition, if the air quality is safe, people can move back into their homes and safety officials say it could happen by the end of the day.