Brownstone Spontaneously Collapses


Portions of the east wall of a brownstone on Carroll Street collapsed this morning, injuring no one but forcing more than two or three dozen people to evacuate their homes, the Carroll Gardens Patch reports. The department of buildings has ordered the structure torn down, which should happen tomorrow or Wednesday. The wall at 241 Carroll, between Court and Smith, became compromised at 1:30 a.m., when only one family in the three-unit building was at home; residents of the surrounding homes were evacuated. “Around 3:15, the firemen came into my bedroom with flashlights and said ‘Sir, you have to leave,'” a resident of First Place told the Patch. “We’re in the collapse zone. So they are concerned that pieces will fall onto the building when it comes down.”

The building was erected in the mid-19th century. “Wood rots,” a fire official told the Post. “The mortar between the brick just gets old and starts to fall apart and gravity will bring the building down eventually.” The owners had filed for a permit to fix up the aged home. “We had seen some hairline things on the side of the building; we were waiting for school to finish session before we started the work,” the owner told the Post. “We never did anything, we never started the work.” A witness said “the collapse sounded like a sea of window air-conditioner units crashing to earth.”


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