Demolition Starts on Collapsed Building in Berwick

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BERWICK, Pa. -- The roof of a three-story building in Berwick collapsed Wednesday afternoon, sending four people to the hospital after their cars were crushed by bricks and debris.

Investigators were at the former Masonic building at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets, trying to figure out what made it collapse.

The building has been in Berwick since 1905. The front half houses two businesses and the back half has been vacant for years.

According to the Berwick Fire Chief, a section of the building collapsed right before 3 p.m. yesterday, just missing a school bus.

The debris hit two cars, sending four people to the hospital. Crews were concerned there could be squatters in the building but they did not find anyone inside.

Two of the people hurt were a mother and daughter from Nescopeck. They were at the stoplight, waiting to turn left onto Market Street when the building collapsed. Their attorney was at the building Thursday, taking pictures and preserving evidence.

The Vape Shop housed in the front of the building has been closed since Saturday because of water damage. Officials are looking to see if the recent heavy rains played a role in the roof collapsed, too.

2nd Street between Pine and Market Streets is closed causing traffic tie-ups in Berwick.

The borough's mayor tells Newswatch 16 this will be discussed at an upcoming council meeting.

"Do we have to look at this as something we have to address? That's up to the powers that be which way we go forward here. We sure don't want to see this happen again because one time is one time too many," said Mayor Tim Burke.

Crews are still trying to figure out what caused the building to collapse.

They expect to have a better idea of that when the building is torn down.

Demolition is expected to take three days.

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