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No Injuries After Building Collapse In Woodhaven, Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene after a building collapsed in Queens on Friday.

It happened just after 6 p.m. in the Woodhaven section. A commercial building, located at 78-19 Jamaica Ave., was vacant at the time and has been for four or five years, CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

Authorities said they will investigate to see if the building is structurally sound.

No Injuries After Building Collapse In Woodhaven, Queens

"That could be a factor and again I think we have to get in there with [Department of Buildings] and do an investigation to see if that really did have an impact," FDNY Assistant Chief Edward Baggott said.

Firefighters told Sanchez the heavy rain the Tri-State Area has been experiencing lately may have caused the incident.

No injuries were reported. Two cars, however, were badly damaged, including one belonging to Gary Gonzalez.

"It sounded like a big boom and the building shake a little bit, but I didn't...there was nothing crazy. So I left it like that. I was upstairs changing and somebody came to get me upstairs and they said the building collapse on my van," Gonzalez said.
"I was a little upset, but I was glad that I was not in the car."

Antonia Batista said she just walked away from her Jeep minutes before bricks came crashing down on top of it.

"I'm very happy I not inside the car," she said.

The building was located under an elevated train. As a result there was initially no J train service between Crescent Street and 121st Street in both directions. However, that service was later resumed. Officials were concerned that the vibrations from trains would cause additional damage to the building.

Firefighters were also expected to keep the area closed until Saturday, when it will be inspected by the Department of Buildings, officials said.

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