Neighbors evacuated as bricks tumble from St. Helens building

Credit: Mark Hanrahan

Neighbors evacuated as bricks tumble from St. Helens building

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by KGW Reporter Mark Hanrahan

Bio | Email | Follow: @mark_hanrahan

kgw.com

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 7 at 7:15 PM

ST. HELENS, Ore. -- More than a dozen residents were forced from their apartments after bricks from the adjacent building broke free and crashed to the pavement below.

City building inspector Brian Don said part of the old Muckle Building will be dismantled to make it safe, then shored up. It could be at least a week before residents of the neighboring apartment are allowed to return.

“And, then all of a sudden it got a little louder and we saw dust and we looked over and all of these bricks were just coming down,” said Heather Hunger, who was standing nearby.

Nobody was hurt.

Don said the building, located at Strand and Cowlitz streets, is more than 100 years old and has been vacant for at least six years.

Don said the building’s age, combined with wind gusts, likely prompted the bricks to break free Monday afternoon.

City officials evacuated Grace’s Rivertown Antiques and the nine apartments above it over concerns more of the neighboring building could break away and cause damage.

The apartment manager said a total of 13 people live in the second floor units.

The American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Plymouth Presbyterian Church to assist the displaced renters.

KGW Reporter Pat Dooris contributed to this report

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