Partial building collapse in downtown Toledo - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

No injuries reported after building partially collapses in downtown Toledo

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Fire crews are on the scene of a partial building collapse on Broadway Street near the Hi-Level Bridge in downtown Toledo.

An eight to 10-foot section of the building collapsed just before 7:30 a.m. Monday. A man walking his dog saw the collapse happen and called 911. Part of the building, which was built in the 1890s, has collapsed into Swan Creek. The building is still collapsing now. 

"We can't control it. We can't stop it. What we have to do is ensure public safety," said Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld with Toledo Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters say a flooding situation from a sprinkler system during the winter could have contributed to the building's collapse. However, Paul Ringlein believes it was caused by erosion.

"There's not that much water damage upstairs, so I think that it was erosion on the foundation. That's the boiler room that collapsed," explained Ringlein.

No injuries have been reported. Firefighters say no one was inside the vacant building when it collapsed.

Building owner Virginia Clark died back in January. Ringlein says the building will likely be torn down. Clark was on a payment plan paying on back taxes before her death a few months ago. County officials are looking into whether or not there's an estate, and if there is, if there is insurance that will help cover the cost of the demolition. Otherwise, the city will have to foot the bill.

"It's unfortunate because it has a lot of history," said Neil Kovacik, who manages The Oliver House, which sits across from the vacant building.

Kovacik says the building is part of Toledo's history.

"It's a very historic building, as far as Toledo's concerned. The very back part of it that hangs over the creek was once a tobacco factory over 100 years ago," explained Kovacik.

Crews will be there all day trying to stabilize the building so more of it doesn't collapse. Crews will be in the creek below to get better vantage points of the building. Firefighters say rain will make it very difficult to continue their work.

Police say Broadway Street is shut down at Ottawa Street.

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