Demolition of Collapsing Building in Jersey Shore Underway

JERSEY SHORE, Pa. -- Demolition started Monday on a building in Lycoming County that partially collapsed last month.

The people who lived there were forced to leave with just the clothes on their backs, and despite a search of the building, there is concern that cats are still inside.

The owner of the demolition company was able to safely look through the building and says there are no more cats inside, but some people who used to live there are concerned because their things are still inside.

It's been more than two weeks since the building on Main Street in Jersey Shore started to collapse. Nearly a dozen people lived there. They and the couple who lived next door were told to leave immediately, some with just the clothes on their backs.

"I asked if I could put my pants on before I left, and they said you can do that as long as you hurry," Dana Waddell recalled.

It's been a frustrating couple of weeks for Waddell. The home he and his wife live in shares a wall with the apartment building. He is happy the building is being torn down and hopes his home can be saved.

"But they can't guarantee that, so just being up in the air and in doubt is very worrisome," Waddell said.

The building has been vacant ever since the partial collapse. Crews must take it down in small pieces because of safety concerns.

"We'll go back, and we'll rip chunks of it out. We're going to separate the stuff that goes in the landfill with the wood and the garbage. And the bricks will stay on site as clean fill," said John Natalie of Natalie Excavation and Demolition.

There have been concerns that there are still cats inside this building. A group of people came to make sure the building was not torn down before it was checked.

Bonnie Snyder is with Bellabon's Pet Recovery in Muncy. She was contacted last week because tenants' cats were still inside the building. After inspecting the building, crews did not find any cats.

"Our main goal was to get them out of the building," Snyder said. "We were concerned about the one upstairs, however, that cat is not in there. The door is open so that cat probably came out, too."

"As we demo, too, we'll be keeping an eye out. It doesn't all fall down at one time. It will come down in sections. We'll be able to see if there are any animals in there to keep them safe," Natalie said.

The demolition in Jersey Shore is expected to take about a week.

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