Building's floor partially collapses at Hawthorne Garden apartments, displacing residents

The collapse affected Building E at the complex.

Bob Doda and Ali Reid

Jan 28, 2024, 5:32 PM

Updated 177 days ago

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A building's partial floor collapse at the Hawthorne Garden apartments displaced residents Sunday morning. The collapse affected Building E at the complex. Red Cross was assisting at least 10 families find shelter. Another 30 families, however, may potentially need to be relocated as well.
The collapse occurred just after 9 a.m. inside the basement of Building E located off Rock Road. A wall failed, which took out the rest of the retaining walls.
Hawthorne Fire Chief Joe Speranza said buildings D, F and H won't have any heat or gas "because of the compromise."
"When the building fell, it fell on nine boilers," he said. "The boilers are pretty much destroyed. Gas leaks have been secured. Water has been secured and electric has been secured."
Officials said the nine boilers supplied heat to 40 units in the complex.
Speranza said there were no injuries.
Residents will not be allowed back inside of the building for the time being as crews anticipate another section of the building will fall. They prepared a collapse zone for it.
Impacted resident Mike Barchetto said he heard a loud bang followed by an alarming crackling noise.
"I noticed my deck was sunken in and the bricks were starting to separate like we were going to lose the first floor of the apartment," he recalled. "There's a lot of issues here that need to be addressed, safety issues for the residents that live here."
Speranza said the issue may have been building for years and Sunday's rain could have been the factor that aggravated the situation. He said it most likely can be tied to an excess of water in the ground.


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