House collapses in North Philadelphia

April 11, 2008 10:11:51 AM PDT
It was a rude awakening for a North Philadelphia neighborhood this morning. A three-story building, located in the 2500 block of North 6th Street, collapsed, leaving nothing but a pile of bricks, timber and steel. The aging North Philadelphia rowhome had been vacant for at least two dozen years.

The bricks tumbled onto the sidewalk just after 5 a.m. sending dust and rubble onto cars and even across the street. Luckily no one was injured. But Javier Gomez lost 6 trucks he was hoping to sell. They were parked in the vacant lot next-door to the building.

Gomez says, "Yesterday, I fixed all my yard, removed my cars. And, nothing happened. Thank God, I'm lucky nothing happened to me."

Because Gomez didn't legally own the lot, he may not be able to collect any payment for them.

The collapse and flying debris broke several windows in the house where Johnny Simpson lives on the other side of the vacant lot. He says for years he felt uncomfortable with the state of the building.

L&I posted warnings on what was left of the collapsed building and also the vacant home next-door.

According to L&I, cleanup and demolition should begin later today. Contractors actually bid for the job on the sidewalk in front of the house.