ST. LOUIS – A strong wind overnight brought down a portion of a vacant building just north of downtown St. Louis on Thursday morning.
“Obviously, we have 20 mph in the neighborhood winds going here. Probably a contributing factor to the collapse in addition to the old age of the building and the lack of upkeep,” said Capt. Garon Mosby with the St. Louis Fire Department. “We were able to do a search because, as you all know, we’ve had a lot of conversations about vacant buildings. Our number one priority is there’s someone inside.”
The St. Louis Fire Department had deployed a drone in the 900 block of Tyler to investigate the collapse. No one was in the building at the time of the collapse, and no injuries were reported.
Mosby said that the rest of the building is unsafe and that it will fall down soon. So, a demolition crew was called to knock down the rest of the building.
“It was collapsing onto the highway, so our job today was to get the building down and get it safe and get it hauled off,” said Ben Mohrmann, owner of Bellon Wrecking.
The building needed to come down so that no one or nearby traffic on Highway 70 would be impacted. Then, it was a steady hand and a steel rod that helped complete the job Thursday afternoon.
“I just used that steel beam to give me some reach because it was four stories high,” said Donald Parker, operator. “So I just used that beam to punch the walls, and it came straight down.”
In just over an hour, the excavators from Bellon were able to knock down the building. The bricks and debris will be cleaned up, and they will most likely be reused in another structure.