Falling wall is close call: Twenty evacuated after Gowanus building collapses

Look out below!: A wall fell off the side of a vacant three-story buidling in Gowanus, forcing emergency responders to evacuate 20 neighbors.
Photo by Jason Speakman

New York’s Bravest forced roughly 20 Gowanusaurs to evacuate their homes after a vacant Ninth Street building partially collapsed on May 17.

The firefighters arrived at 11:01 pm to find a gaping opening on one side of the structure, where an entire wall — from the roof to the ground floor — fell off the three-story building at 217 Ninth St. between Third and Fourth avenues, a department rep said.

Fortunately, the falling debris injured no one, but officials forbade evacuees from returning to their homes in adjacent buildings until city inspectors could confirm the area is secure, according to a Buildings Department spokeswoman.

In April, the agency approved permits to demolish the building, according to the spokeswoman, who said the Buildings Department issued a declaration to raze the structure as soon as possible after the partial collapse, and slapped its owner with a violation.

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