Partial building collapse in Park Slope prompts evacuations

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The New York City Buildings Department on Friday ordered a Brooklyn building that partially collapsed to be demolished.

The side wall of a vacant home on the 200 block of 9th street came crashing down around 11:15 p.m. Thursday, prompting evacuations in the Park Slope neighborhood.

For now, there is a collapse zone from which fire crews are keeping people.

One side of the building came crashing down, as well as half of the back wall.

"The wind started, it started shaking and just hit down, it just started collapsing," witness Joe Santiago said. "One minute the house was standing, the next half of it was on the ground."

Firefighters immediately began searching to see if anyone was inside, but the building was unoccupied.

"The first thing you see when you look out your window is firefighters knocking on the door, so your first thought of course is someone being in there," neighbor Torin Van Houten said.

One building to the left of the collapsed building was evacuated, displacing seven people.

"I heard this immense boom," area resident Phil Mayer said. "It shook the building. It was not normal."

The owner of the building had pulled two permits, one last month and one for May 10, to demolish the building. But for whatever reason, it wasn't torn down. The owner has now been issued a violation for failing to maintain the building.

Buildings on both side of the home will have to be vacated until an investigation is completed.

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