Neighbors fear Cleveland building could collapse again, owner reassures that won’t be the case

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Neighbors are shaken up days later. They witnessed Mother Nature take a building down feet away from their homes. They fear future storms could take the rest of the building down.

“I fear that some more of this building is going to fall,” said Katherine McDonald, a neighbor. It’s already affecting the whole neighborhood when it fell last Thursday. People on the back streets said their houses shook.”

Thursday night the Empire Plow Co. building collapsed. A car driving down East 65th Street was almost hit by the falling debris. No one was injured.

Jim Wallace owns the building. He says he would never put people’s safety in jeopardy. Wallace’s demolition company has been in the process of tearing the place down.

“The neighbors don’t have to worry about the winds tonight. The building is not blowing down,” said Wallace.

Wallace says if he truly thought that the building could collapse again, he would not have his employees working on demolishing the building.

“We don’t have anything going on that would create such a disaster and don’t know how the other one happened. But the winds were real high,” said Wallace.

Cleveland Councilman, Richard Starr was down the street in a meeting when the Empire Plow building came down.

“We heard a boom. Phones started ringing. It was something we did not expect to happen. Jim Wallace and his company is doing what they best can,” said Starr.

Starr says he is working with the City of Cleveland to explore preventative.

“We also just have to do our diligence to make sure we have everything in place. To help support someone who is trying to take on a big project like the empire plow building,” said Starr.

The City of Cleveland says when their Building and Housing Department learned of the situation, they sent someone out immediately to assess the premises.  They are reviewing the information they gathered.