Seven Hurt in Building Collapse in Berwick

BERWICK, Pa. -- Seven people were sent to the hospital after the roof of a vacant building came tumbling down in Berwick.

Firefighters said no one was inside the building on Second Street when it started falling apart around 3 p.m. Wednesday, but people on the sidewalk and sitting in their cars were hurt in the wreck.

Amber Soboleski saw it all from across the street and immediately called 911.

“You couldn't see two feet in front of you but you could hear a woman screaming. It was terrifying,” Soboleski said.

That woman was screaming for help. The passenger in her Dodge Durango was trapped but firefighters were able to rescue her.

The chief of the Berwick Fire Department was even stunned when he saw the damage.

“Nothing like this. This is the first time in 30 years I’ve seen something like this,” Fire chief Randy Remphrey said.

Fire officials said a vape shop near the corner of the building has been closed since Saturday because of water damage, so officials are looking to see if weather played a role in the roof collapse too.

“With the number of storms we've had over the summer - it definitely could have been a contributing factor,” Jon Pruitt of Berwick said.

Pruitt lives just down the street. He said the plume of dust from the collapse was higher than some buildings.

“It's scary. A lot of these buildings have been here for 75-100 years if not more,” Pruitt said.

Firefighters said they will be bringing in a crane Thursday morning to take a better a look at the building and figure out the cause of the collapse.

Parts of Second Street and Market Street in Berwick will be closed as a result.

6 comments

  • Rick DeFrain

    It’s a shame someone has to get hurt before anything gets done . It should be investigated why the known structural problems with this property were swept under the carpet . Could it be because the owner is a prominent figure in this town & $$$$ can keep mouths shut . Mr —- ,you should be really ashamed of yourself but I’m sure you will pay dearly , as you & the borough should !!

  • Matt Berns

    Buildings should be able to handle rain. Maybe there were structural problems that were ignored because the repairs costed money. Sacrifices have to be made to save money.

  • Brian Coates

    That’s not good, especially considering the amount of traffic that will be moving through the area next week for the fair.

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