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Schuylkill County community picks up pieces after demolition project went wrong

MINERSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A portion of Sunbury Street in Minersville was blocked off as an emergency crews worked to safely finish the demolition project after the building partially collapsed Thursday afternoon. No one was injured when it fell.

“The front end of that building just came free and when that happened as the front end went up, it kicked bricks out, a lot of bricks,” said Chief Michael Combs, Minersville Police Department.

A borough councilman says the damage was a result of an accident. Jeremy Olenick heard the building collapse from his house. He thought it was the sound of a car accident.

“I jumped up. I looked out the front window and there was no accident. I looked to the, looked to the right and I just see a cloud of dust coming down. I was like that ain’t good,” said Olenick.

The Schuylkill County Land Bank owns the property but it’s a county demolition project because the county was funding it.

Officials quickly put the demolition on pause and brought in an emergency contractor to finish the job. Parts of the street were blocked off as they cleaned up.

“Getting these properties down safely and turning once terrible looking blighted buildings into something worth wild is still the main objective,” said Ian Mahal, councilman and Schuylkill County Land Bank treasurer.

The Schuylkill County Land Bank plans to revitalize the property and is actively looking for occupants. The properties on Sunbury Street have been vacant for over 10 years.

The Schuylkill County Land Bank acquired the properties in February.