NO GOING BACK FOR TENANTS
Three Hurt As Bklyn. Building Falls
Several families along a section of Myrtle Avenue in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn were displaced from their homes on Sunday, June 21, after a four-story apartment house collapsed, it was reported.
Three residents inside 493 Myrtle Ave. (between Hall and Ryerson streets) were pulled or managed to escape from the rubble with minor injuries after the structure—which housed a bar on the first floor and apartments on three floors above— gave way just after 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Two days later, a structure adjacent to where the building stood— 491 Myrtle Ave.—was deemed structurally compromised by Buildings Department inspectors and ordered demolished, according to a spokesperson for the city agency.
As of press time, a pair of apartment buildings near the collapse site—489 and 497 Myrtle Ave.—remain unoccupied after families were ordered by the Buildings Department to leave on Sunday due to the risk of structural failure.
Reportedly, repairs were being made to the exterior of 493 Myrtle Ave. when the building suddenly pancaked. The collapse triggered a massive response by the Police and Fire Departments; more than 25 FDNY companies responded to the scene along with the 88th Precinct, the NYPD Emergency Services, Search and Rescue and K-9 units, the Office of Emergency Management and EMS units.
The victims were transported by paramedics to local hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening.
All of the displaced families were provided assistance and temporary shelter by the American Red Cross of Greater New York and other charities at the scene.
According to the Buildings Department spokesperson, inspectors from the agency examined the building on May 1. Four violations were reported by the agents, including having a large crack between 1/2" and 1" wide running in the eastern wall from the first to third floors, performing work without a proper permit, failure to maintain a rear deck, and failing to have an unobstructed fire escape.
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation, the spokesperson said, adding that inspectors and engineers are considering the recent construction work and heavy rainfall as probable factors in the building's demise.
It was noted that pedestrian and vehicular traffic along the block of Myrtle Avenue was closed through Wednesday, June 24, due to fallen debris and construction activities at the collapse site.
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