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Wilkinsburg Building Demolished After Partial Collapse

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WILKINSBURG (KDKA) -- An apartment building was torn down in Wilkinsburg on Friday after a partial collapse caused significant damage there overnight.

"We were notified to a catastrophic building collapse," Eric Parrish, with Wilkinsburg code enforcement, said.

That was the call the Wilkinsburg Code Enforcement Officer got Friday morning at 2 a.m. about a vacant three-story apartment on Kelly Avenue.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer)

Richard Stanley, who lives across the street from the building, talks about what he heard.

"I heard a big ol' crash, but I thought it was thunder and lightning until I looked outside. Bricks were all over the ground," he said.

An emergency demolition was ordered.

The apartment had been vacant for a number of years and what didn't crumble to the street remained dangerously dangling above. A section was closed to vehicles and foot traffic from Rebecca Street to Todd Street.

wilkinsburg building demolished
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Duquesne Light crews were also on the scene.

"We had to have some power shut down in the area. One building in the neighborhood will lose power for about four hours."

Stanley lives in the building across the street affected by the power shut down. With no electricity, he had to leave home.

"I need power because I have COPD. I just took a breathing treatment before they cut the power off. I have to go to a friend's house now and take my breathing machine over there," he said.

The building that once stood at 719 Kelly Avenue has been reduced to debris. The power has been restored and the street now open to traffic.

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