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ST. LOUIS – An occupied apartment building in the heart of the Central West End partially collapsed Saturday afternoon. The St. Louis Fire Department was forced to condemn part of the building.

The fire department responded to the 4900 block of West Pine around 1 p.m. for the incident. At least 15 units were evacuated.

Mackenzie Lemiuex lives in the unit next to where the bricks started collapsing.

“It was a bit scary. I was on my way back from camping and I didn’t have service, but once I got service, all my friends were texting me like are you okay? I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Lemiuex said. “They were like, your building is collapsing. I was like that’s sketchy.”

Kristine Horan is a former tenant who says she has noticed the structural warping for years.

“For years, I’ve sent my old roommate pictures of it…I guess it fell,” Horan said.

“It’s not just bricks falling off. Its like the entire thing is caving out,” Leamieux said. ” I was thinking about moving out and I decided to resign my lease because I was lazy, but now I’m definitely reconsidering.”

Anna Watson and her friend Caleb Raper booked an Air BnB for their vacation from Arkansas. They arrived to the bad news.  

“They told us that the wall had collapsed and there were certain rooms that weren’t available so we’re just trying to figure out where we need to go from here,” Watson said.

Captain Garon Mosby with the St. Louis Fire Department said this partial collapse could have been the best, “worst” case scenario for tenants.

“It’s not often that you get the report of a building collapse in the central… it exposes a bigger problem and we’re able to get ahead of it,” Mosby said.

Tenants said they received an email from ownership that they are helping those who had to leave find temporary housing. They did not mention if they are helping financially or not.

Captain Mosby said the timing of when those tenants can move back in depends on how fast repairs can be made and a proper inspection takes place. 

No injuries were reported.