Vacant building collapses
A vacant building located on 405 Crane St. in Catasauqua collapsed Sunday evening, leaving nine individuals living adjacent to the structure temporarily without shelter.
In a telephone interview with The Press Monday morning, Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas Kish said the police department received a call at 7:07 p.m. Sunday regarding the building collapse.
The police department, borough fire department, PPL, UGI and the borough engineer, Pidcock Co., were on the scene Sunday, Kish said.
Borough Council President Brian Bartholomew was also present.
Kish said, as of Monday morning, the structure of the building had been demolished.
"It's done, it's in a pile," Kish said of the building. "They're [building owner] now in the process of getting equipment to clean it up."
Lehigh County records show the owner of the building to be FTT Properties LLC of Livingston, N.J.
According to Kish, UGI capped gas service on Crane Street due to the collapse.
The building, Kish said, has been vacant for a number of years.
Peggie Lawlor, who lives directly across the street from the building on Church Street with her husband, Tom, told The Press Monday the building has been uninhabitable for a few years.
"They should have torn it down a couple of years ago because it was condemned," she said. "I could have climbed inside the holes of the roof."
Peggie said she noticed small cracks in the building earlier in the day Sunday that appeared to be expanding. The Lawlors' neighbor, Carol Snell, said the neighbors heard odd noises Sunday and the sound of bricks coming down inside the structure. Shortly after, the building collapsed.
Kish said Monday the building no longer poses a safety threat to the public.
"It's not a hazard anymore," Kish said.
Catasauqua Borough Council President Brian Bartholomew said future steps taken regarding the building and structure depend on input received from the engineers.
"Right now it's all an engineering game of what to do and what not to do," Bartholomew said.
As of Monday morning, Crane Street and Church Street between Howertown Road and Second Street were closed, Kish said.
Two of the displaced neighbors were assisted with housing by the American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
The Lehigh Valley County Animal Rescue and Response Team also provided assistance to families with their pets.