PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The wall of a home in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia collapsed early Monday morning.
It happened around 2 a.m. on North Dover Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
The collapse knocked over a utility pole and a streetlight; two cars were crushed under a pile of bricks.
Neighbors reported hearing a crash and feeling a jolt.
"It was like a real boom, like a car accident," recalled neighbor Wayne Blocker. "Then I looked out my window and saw all the fire trucks."
Neighbor Ayanna Harris also heard the crash.
"It was terrifying and it jolted us all out of sleep," she said.
The wall collapse is yet another reminder of the aging structures littering many corners of our city.
A spokesperson for L&I said it's focusing on recent construction work that was performed without a permit.
From the look of the exposed property, it appears the home was renovated in recent years with new newer framing studs and drywall.
In 2021, L&I said code enforcement officers and police broke up an illegal speakeasy at the home. Multiple code violations were found including electrical, illegal use and fire safety issues.
L&I was in the process of building a case for court when the collapse occurred.
"Philadelphia has an old building stock," said Dr. Abi Aghayere, a professor of civil engineering at Drexel University. "New York has the same. Boston has the same."
Aghayere said aging mortar joints in bricks and stone are a major problem in older cities, especially in homes with poor upkeep and maintenance.
"If they are not maintained on a regular basis and water infiltration happens ... then something is going to give," said Aghayere.
Earlier this month, a portion of a home in Manayunk collapsed. And last month, a home collapsed on the 1900 block of Bonitz Street in the city's Tioga-Nicetown section.
"Do you foresee more and more in the future?" Chad Pradelli asked Aghayere.
"Regrettably yes," he answered.
L&I and property records show Charles Jackson is the owner of record. Attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful.
L&I continues to investigate and said any costs associated with demolition and cleanup will be billed to him.
No injuries were reported.
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