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Ceiling Collapse At Highland Park Townhome

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HIGHLAND PARK (CBSDFW.COM) - There were some scary moments for Highland Park residents late Thursday night when the ceiling of a townhome came crashing down. It happened at around 9:30 p.m. at The Savoy, in the 4200 block of Lomo Alto Drive.

The top floor of the three-story building now has a hole in the ceiling that is about 20 feet wide. The weight of this first collapse caused the ceiling of the second-story to also collapse, and then the first-floor ceiling as well. Three living units have been impacted by the roof collapse, but nobody was hurt.

Residents of the building have been evacuated as a precaution.

"The 911 call was pretty frantic," said Sgt. Lance Koppa with the Highland Park Police Department, "particularly when you have somebody describing their ceiling falling into their floor."

Some neighbors thought that the sound was a plane crash, since the building is located close to Dallas Love Field.

David Bass lives on the building's top floor. He just walked out of his living room when, a few minutes later, the ceiling caved in. "I heard what I thought was hail," Bass recalled. "I walked out to see if we were, saw nothing, and I came back in, everything started falling."

According to an official with the Highland Park Department of Public Safety, there was no construction going on at the time of this partial roof collapse. And the 12-unit building is not terribly old either. It was built sometime in the 1980s.

However, someone taped a piece of paper to the building's entrance, showing that a roof work permit was both ordered and completed in April. Other repairs are now in the process of being conducted at the building, but not on the roof.

A structural engineer will be at the building on Friday in an attempt to determine the cause of the collapse.

"My living room is on the first floor now," Bass added. "It's just so fortunate that none of us were sitting in our living rooms at the time."

"I'm really clueless," added Koppa. "I have not seen anything like this. I'm extraordinarily surprised and really have no idea what caused this collapse."

Crews will also be at the townhome on Friday to work on cleaning up the mess. There is a lot of debris left inside of the building, and bits of insulation scattered on the ground outside.

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