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L&I investigating cause of building collapse in Philadelphia's Kensington section

Kensington building partially collapses
Kensington building collapses 02:22

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Kensington building with a pizza shop and apartments was reduced to rubble on Wednesday morning. The collapse left behind a heap of debris and damaged cars. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt. 

"What I saw was a bunch of dust flying all over and people running down the street," a man said. 

A hectic scene forced neighbors out of their homes Wednesday morning into billowing clouds of smoke. They saw a building collapse that destroyed vehicles, leaving them in disbelief. 

"I heard crumblings to my left and I turned to my left and I see bright brown dust coming at me and it looked like the building came down perfectly," Brad said.

The building came down before 10 a.m. at the corner of Memphis and East York in Kensington. 

According to the owner, it was a long time pizza shop – a place she owned for 26 years. She vows to rebuild and reopen Key Pizza. 

Pizzas shop owner plans to rebuild after building collapse in Kensington 00:24

Off camera, she told Eyewitness News she believes neighboring construction caused her building to topple.

"It's kind of scary if you live in an older home and there doing construction around there, especially for the older people like myself that live around here all of our lives," a man said. "We're worried about when they're building next to us if our house is gonna collapse on us."

Twenty four hours before this, a building collapsed on Frankford Avenue in Kensington. 

Nobody was injured in that incident, either. 

"I think it's sad for the neighborhood," Brad said. "I've always had my opinions about our infrastructure in the city. In my opinion, it's been lacking." 

According to the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections, the building at York Street was cited for a bulged front wall in July. 

In November of 2021, L&I issued a new construction to the adjacent property at 2331 East York Street.

Inspectors are now onsite evaluating if that work contributed to the collapse. 

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