NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A building collapse in Norristown sent debris everywhere Tuesday. You can see the destruction from Chopper 3 as it flew overhead moments after it happened.
No one was injured in the collapse, but it does end a difficult chapter for the homes that stretches back six years.
A row of Norristown homes that was severely damaged by a fire in 2013, have now collapsed, spilling rubble and leaving debris scattered across the sidewalk.
“Like an earthquake. It moved the house — both houses, actually,” neighbor Frederico Trejo said.
Many gathered to look at the fallen homes. The owner of a neighboring damaged house says the borough never tried to rehab the homes after the fire six years ago.
That led to Tuesday, when police say contractors hired by the borough had just started working when one began to fall, taking three others with it.
“Oh, we were very lucky. There was three contractors on scene — one in the bucket and two walking around — and throughout the morning, they were on that sidewalk. So it was just by circumstances that they were not there when it collapsed,” Norristown Assistant Fire Chief John Remillard said.
Three of the four homes that collapsed are owned by Habitat for Humanity. Marianne Lynch says the organization had plans to purchase, demolish and build affordable housing where the damaged homes once stood, but had trouble acquiring the house that started the collapse.
“We’re gonna get them cleaned up and get them demoed so that no one gets hurt. We want to get them down as quick as possible,” Lynch, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties, said.
Ten people, including two families, have been displaced.
CBS3 reporter Dan Koob reports.