Buckled Foundation Causes Rowhome Roofs to Collapse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A buckled foundation is what caused the roofs of two rowhomes to collapse in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of Philadelphia, according to officials.

    Rescue crews responded to the 6000 block of Spruce Street on Monday around noon after the foundation wall that rested between 6015 and 6017 Spruce St. caved in. The weight of the collapse sent the second floor of one home crushing down to ground level and punching the porch out over the front steps. The home on 6013 Spruce Street also sustained minor damage to the front porch.

    Roofs Collapse in Cobbs Creek

    [PHI] Roofs Collapse in Cobbs Creek
    The collapse of two roofs displaced several families in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia. NBC10's Harry Hairston has the details.

    No one was injured during the incident.

    Roofs, Homes Collapse in Cobbs Creek

    [PHI] Roofs, Homes Collapse in Cobbs Creek
    The roofs caved in on two rowhomes, crushing one and leaving the second heavily damaged.

    Christine Chapman, the owner of the home on 6017 St., told NBC10 she wasn't home when the collapse occurred. Once she found out, all she was worried about were her two Scottish deer hounds.

    "They're both champion show dogs," she said.

    Moments after the collapse, police spotted one of Chapman's dogs in the backyard. Another was found safe in the attic of the home. Chapman also managed to recover the urn of her deceased husband.

    After the collapse, officials with the Department of Licenses & Inspections evacuated residents living on the block. Investigators determined that the stone foundation wall in the basement of one of the homes buckled, causing the wall that sits atop 6015 and 6017 to collapse.

    Officials declared both homes dangerous and conducted an emergency bid to award the demolition project to the lowest responsible bidder. Palmer Construction, a certified contractor, won the bid for $38,000 which will be billed to the property owners. The contractor has 30 days to complete the demolition.

    Crews began demolishing the structures Monday night and worked with the owners of the properties to salvage any personal belongings. L&I also performed routine inspections on 42 of the 47 remaining properties on the 6000 block of Spruce Street. No structural problems were found in any of the inspected properties though most showed evidence of water infiltration.

    Most of the evacuated residents on the block were allowed back inside their homes Tuesday night.

    The Red Cross is also assisting three families and seven people who were displaced. Two of those families and six people are staying at the Red Cross House.