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Tenants evacuated after partial building collapse in Norwich

NORWICH, N.Y. (WBNG) — Members of the Norwich Fire Department and Norwich Emergency Management responded to a 911 call about a partial building collapse Wednesday evening

“So we received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 5 PM last night of a partial building collapse at 33 Mitchell Street in the city. Fire department, emergency management responded, found a partial gap in the building,” said Director of Emergency Management for the City of Norwich, A. Wesley Jones.

The initial call was for the center of the building, as more continued to fall into the night.

“We sat on the porch until late last night and kept watching it. And every little while, some would come down, and then the whole top part of the 2nd, or it would be the 3rd floor, came right down,” said long-time Norwich resident Doris Ashcraft.

The building was built in 1855, and did house tenants in three apartments. No injuries were reported from the partial collapse. Everyone living there has been evacuated, as a structural engineer was on-site determining the state of the remaining building.

“Essentially determining whether he believes it to be in imminent threat of collapse. Based on that we’ll make a determination as to how we proceed,” said Jones.

Officials have blocked off the intersection of State and Mitchell until the assessment is complete. Residents hope it doesn’t take too long.

“I don’t have to go anywhere today, but I have to go somewhere tomorrow. So, hopefully they’ll have my, it off my driveway and I can get out that street or something,” said Ashcraft.

With such a large chunk of the building already fallen down, officials are going to keep this intersection blocked off for now, and they just urge the residents of Norwich to be patient.

“In short order we believe that there will be some decisions made as to how we proceed,” said Jones.

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