Rowhouses collapse in W. Philly

Posted: July 09, 2014

THREE FAMILIES in West Philly couldn't go home last night, and may not be able to for a few days, after a collapsed wall toppled two rowhouses, officials said.

Just before noon yesterday, the second floor of a home on Spruce Street near 60th collapsed, crashing into and pulling down the second floor of the home next to it, Executive Fire Chief Peter Crespo said.

No one was inside the homes at the time of the collapse, and no injuries were reported in the wake of the incident, Licenses & Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams said.

The official cause of the collapse was unknown last night, but preliminary evidence suggests that the homes buckled after a wall they share collapsed, Williams said.

There were no previous violations for the two properties, according to data from L&I.

Last night, the Red Cross was assisting the two families displaced by the collapse, spokeswoman Sara Smith said. Members of a third family, the occupants of a home next to the damaged properties, were also evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Investigators from the Fire Department and L&I were continuing to investigate last night.

L&I has ruled both homes imminently dangerous, and they will be demolished if repairs are unable to be made, at the expense of the homeowners.

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