Residents speak out after wind causes building to collapse in Jersey City

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- City officials said that a building in Jersey City that partially collapsed when gusty winds swept through the area will need to be knocked down.

Demolition was underway on Tuesday morning on what was supposed to be a multi-level housing unit.

Jersey City fire officials say the incident happened just after 8:30 p.m. Monday, when a call came in for a possible building collapse with people trapped.

They say a four-story building under construction was believed to have collapsed due to strong winds in the area. The building was pushed off its foundation into the structure next door.

The family next door called 911. They made it out safely, but their two-story home was also damaged and will also need to be demolished.

A school in back of the building was also damaged, and as a result, school was canceled Tuesday. Officials will make sure the building is sound before kids are allowed back inside.

Ten residents, from the two homes on each side, were relocated.

Maria Torres had lived there for 21 years with her two children. She described getting her family out on Monday night.

"I was in the middle of the hallway, the house I guess collapsed and I ran, I was screaming, get the kids out and we just ran down the stairs and left with nothing," Torres said.

Her friends have already created a GoFundMe for her to help with moving expenses and rent.

"I'm staying with a friend for a minute, but I don't know from there what we're going to do, we have to find a place, I don't know where, we can't afford to go anywhere, things are so expensive out here," she said.

No injuries were reported.

Building inspectors will look into the collapse.

Keith Kearney, the Executive Director of UCP of Hudson County, Inc, the organization that runs the Growing Tree Learning Center, released a statement saying, "First of all, thank God this happened after we were closed for the day. We were also fortunate in that it appears that the house in front of the daycare stopped the collapsed building from doing any real damage to our building. We have been assured by the building's owner that both the new construction and the house will be demolished as soon as possible. We are hoping to get the daycare reopened as soon as possible. Hopefully Monday. We have been in communication with all of the families that utilize the service and will look to provide remote services if needed. That, of course, will take a little time to reestablish but we want to make sure that the children's learning continues with as little disruption as possible."

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