City orders demolition as building found ready to fall 0
The Vancouver fire department and city engineer survey a building on Powell St. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday July 24, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
Oppenheimer Park was filled with curious onlookers Wednesday afternoon as a nearby building teetering on the brink of collapse was demolished by the city.
The building at 451 Powell St. had been abandoned for an unknown amount of time and was leaning on the one next to it, according to Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.
“It is completely unsafe to go into and it could collapse as it’s unstable,” said Capt. Carol Messenger of the VFRS prior to the demolition. “The ground floor wall has collapsed, causing the building to be structurally unsound.”
Messenger said someone walking past the building noticed the security bars on the front of the building were bowing and called authorities.
Residents were cleared from the second floor of a building next to the structure and no one was inside the dilapidated building itself.
Electricity and gas to the building were disconnected as police and fire crews roped off the building and kept gawkers at bay.
Nearby transit trolley cables were de-energized and an excavator was brought in Wednesday afternoon to tear down the structure.
Authorities did not know how old the building was or why the ground floor wall collapsed.