EAST LIVERPOOL - A crowd gathered on Dresden Avenue in downtown East Liverpool Saturday afternoon after bricks and debris came tumbling down from the upper portion of the Tri-State Supplies building.
Bricks and mortar showered down on to the street sidewalk at approximately 5:30 p.m. damaging the store front portion of the building but not causing any damage to nearby parked cars.
Damage to the store front appeared surprisingly minor with none of the store's large glass windows showing so much as a crack.
Bricks and debris fell from the upper portion of the building which houses Tri-State Supply on Dresden Avenue in downtown East Liverpool at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers from the East Liverpool Police Department and firefighters from East Liverpool Fire Department responded to the scene. A ladder truck was brought in so firefighters could examine the top of the building. No one was injured according to officers on the scene. (Photo by Devin Bezeredi)
Officers with the East Liverpool Police Department were first on the scene, quickly blocking off the street from the post office to Sixth Street.
Police also evacuated the Orioles Club directly next door to Tri State Supply. Dresden Avenue will be closed until the loose portion of the building can be removed at debris cleared from the street and sidewalk.
Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Kreefer walked to the scene from the fire station on St. Clair Avenue to survey the situation and determined that a ladder truck was needed to take a closer look at the top of the building.
At 5:48 p.m., the ladder truck arrived on scene and raised a firefighter up to the roof to inspect the damage. Shortly after firefighters examined the roof, Kreefer called for the area surrounding the building to be roped off with caution tape and instructed the street department to barricade the street on either side of the building.
Tri State Supply is owned by Rick Dieringer and Joey Cilone. The business has insurance which is expected to pay for the clean up of the debris in the street and the removal of the remaining loose bricks of the building's front facade.
According to Kreefer, Mike Pusateri is going to finish tearing down the loose front facade of the structure today in hopes of having Dresden Avenue open to traffic by Monday.
"It's a busy street - Sunday is a good day for it to come down." said Kreefer.
One resident speculated that the building was built in the mid 1800's and stated that loose bricks have fallen from buildings in the downtown before.
No one was injured by the mass of falling debris, but it was obvious to all at the scene that had anyone been below the structure at the time of the collapse, they would have most likely been killed.
Earlier in the day, firefighters responded to a structure fire at 726 Daisy Lane at 3:46 p.m.
The department responded with two fire engines and four firefighters and had the fire under control by 4:08 p.m.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze using a booster line.
According to Kreefer, the fire originated in an outside wall and was caused by over heating of an electrical wire. The fire was confined to the outside wall, however, the interior and exterior wall covering had to be removed to gain access to the fire.
Damage to the structure was minor. The home is a rental property owned by Ronald Caleffi of Pennsylvania. Sara Hilton, another adult and two young children were in the home at the time of the fire.
There were no injuries to residents or to firefighters.