Deadly Hamilton Township house collapse caused by long-term water damage, report says

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018
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Long-term water damage suspected cause of house collapse: Bob Brooks reports on Action News at 5 p.m., July 24, 2018

HAMILTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Officials said a house that collapsed in Hamilton Township, New Jersey Monday morning killing a woman and injuring her two daughters was caused by pervasive, untreated water damage.

Hamilton Township's Division of Engineering released a report Tuesday citing aging materials and weather as the main factors in the collapse of the South Broad Street home that killed 38-year old Tika Justice and injured her two daughters.

"We believe chronic, long-term water penetration through the east side exterior wall led to the extensive deterioration," the report read. "We speculate that this disintegrating block gave way yesterday morning, leading to several floor joists slipping off their supports and directly resulting in the catastrophic collapse of the building."

Officials said Justice died shielding her 16-year-old daughter. Her 20-year-old daughter was found chest-deep in debris when first responders arrived.

Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede said she stopped by the hospital Tuesday to visit the 16 and 20-year-old girls who were injured in the collapse.

"They said we have nothing. They lost their mother. They lost their father years ago," she said.

Yaede along with the pastor of St. Phillips, Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Woods and Angelo Hall the Executive Director of the John O. Wilson Neighborhood Service Center are collaborating collections for the girls.

Beginning on Thursday, July 26 and continuing through Saturday, August 4, residents will be able to bring clothing donations to either St. Phillips Baptist Church (located at 445 Parkinson Avenue, Hamilton, NJ 08610) or to the John O. Wilson Neighborhood Service Center (located at 169 Wilfred Avenue, Hamilton, NJ 08610).

The collection schedule will take place as follows:

Monday - Friday Collections

John O. Wilson Neighborhood Service Center (from 9 AM - 5 PM)

St. Phillips Baptist Church (from 5 PM - 7 PM)

Saturday and Sunday Collections

St. Phillips Baptist Church (from 10 AM - 12 PM Noon)

Requested Clothing Sizes

Shoes (Women's Sizes 10 & 11)

Clothes/Outfits (Sizes Large, X-Large and XX-Large)

Undergarments (Sizes Large, X-Large)

Gift Card Donations are also welcomed

For questions regarding additional item donations, please contact either the John O. Wilson Neighborhood Service Center at 609.393.6480 or St. Phillips Baptist Church at 609.394.3887

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