It was a close call for a contractor and his two workers when four vacant properties in a Montgomery County city collapsed Tuesday.
Leo Pasholli of Pasholli Construction and two of his workers were called to a row home on the 1000 block of Willow Street in Norristown. City officials ordered the demolishing of the property which had been weakened over time by weather and fire damage.
"We spent the last several months pursuing the property owner to get him to address the issues," Crandall Jones, the Norristown Municipal Administrator, told NBC10.
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Pasholli was in a bucket about three stories high when he pulled a wooden plank from the home. This triggered the collapse of the row home and three other vacant properties, causing bricks, wood, glass and other debris to fall to the ground.
"I looked and grabbed my head," Glenda Labron, a witness, told NBC10. "I saw the houses and said, 'I hope nobody was there.'"
Fortunately neither Pasholli nor his workers were injured.
"I couldn't live with myself if something happened to someone," Pasholli said.
Two families who lived nearby were forced out of their homes. They're currently being assisted by the Red Cross.
"In the order of precaution, we evacuate the homes next door," Norristown Fire Assistant Chief John Remillard said. "They'll not be allowed back in during the demo process."
Pasholli and his crew will continue to demolish the properties by hand.
"I got to stick around for another 20 years," Pasholli said. "i have small kids."