Buildings Collapse In Storm

Posted: July 16, 1994

Demolition work is under way in the aftermath of Thursday's storm, which was so fierce, it brought bricks down from a church spire and caused partial

collapses of at least nine other buildings, the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections said.

L&I spokesman Tom McNally said the largest building to collapse was a vacant commercial four-story brick building on Paul Street near Kinsey. The building was already in poor shape. L&I records showed it had been deemed a ''dangerous case" in October 1991 and was reinspected just a few weeks ago. Then, inspectors found one wall partially collapsed and other parts of the building fractured and bulging. The owner refused to make repairs, planning to go to court, but the storm rolled in first. Demolition is to begin today.

In Frankford, the act of God tumbled bricks from the spire of St. Lukes Church, on Orthodox Street near Penn. The bricks fell with such force that they crushed the front steps of the church, which was unoccupied at the time. A contractor has been hired to remove loose masonry supporting the spire.

Other collapsed or partially felled buildings included:

* A store on 24th Street near Cumberland, which was occupied at the time; its foundation wall gave way. Several people scrambled to safety and no one was injured when the corner property, owned by Yu Kwang Ung and Young Pae, fell.

* A furniture store on 5th Street near Girard Avenue, where a roof collapsed.

* An auto supply store on Spring Garden Street near 40th.

* Vacant buildings on Marvine Street near Lindley Avenue; 45th Street near Chestnut; Loudon Street near 12th; Diamond Street near 32nd; Hazel Avenue near 51st Street; and 17th Street near Westmoreland Avenue.

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