No one was hurt when part of the wall of the building between the Alabama Bar and Grill and the Gooseneck Tavern crashed to the ground Wednesday.
By IVY HERRON
Faulty connector bolts have been ruled as the cause of the partial collapse of bricks along the top of a building located at 567 E. National Ave. Wednesday, according to the City of Brazil Building Inspector Ron Keen; however, the investigation has not been completed. A state inspector is expected to arrive today.
"When the bolts failed, the weight of the wall had nothing to hold on to and fell," Keen said.
No one was hurt when, shortly after 11 a.m., a 5-foot high and 25-foot long section of a parapet wall -- a low protective wall along the edge of a roof -- of the building between the Alabama Bar and Grill and the Gooseneck Tavern crashed to the ground.
Due to the unstable nature of the remaining debris hanging along the roof of the building, a portion of the eastbound lane of U.S. 40 in front of the building remains partially closed for safety reasons.
"Part of U.S. 40 was closed to ensure public safety," Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said. "People need to respect the restricted area that has been taped off as a safety zone in front of the building. Some of the debris along the roof is unstable, people need to avoid the area."
Brazil Planning and Zoning Administrator Brandy Means has contacted the owners of the building, Steve and Debra Burke, of Putnam County, about the damage. It is the responsibility of the owners to clear away and secure any remaining debris from the building.
Fire Chief Tobey Archer and another fireman inspected the inside of the building shortly after the collapse.
"Once inside, we discovered that the facade of the building was not secured to the roof. The metal bolt plates in the front wall were not connected," Archer said. "It's unclear what caused the bolts to come loose. I know I have no idea what happened, but I do know we were very fortunate no one was hurt."
The arrival of state building inspector Paul Brown at Brazil City Hall Thursday morning is expected to shed light on what happens next to the building.
Around 10 a.m., Keen said he will join Brown during the inspection of the building "to see iwhether it is stable enough for repairs or if it will need to be torn down."