A vacant row home collapsed Sunday night around 11:40pm on the 200 block of Reed Street in Reading, forcing firefighters to evacuate residents from the adjoining homes.
After a preliminary investigation, city officials are saying wet weather contributed to the collapse of the property. “This has been certified as a blighted property by the city” said Mayor Eddie Moran when he visited the site Monday afternoon. “It is our understanding from data and records that it had been unoccupied for approximately 9 years.”
According to officials, with the rear portion of the structure still standing, the decision to do a full demolition is still being assessed. “Right now our focus is on making sure we save the adjoining building so it is a safe environment [for] those that reside there as well as the community as a whole” said Moran.
A total of 12 residents from the two adjoining homes were evacuated Sunday night and given shelter at a local hotel. Mayor Moran said the Red Cross is funding the initial housing needs of the families, then city funds will be used for anything additional.
“Thank God there was no injuries”. Looking towards the future, Moran said he is researching all the options available in the event emergency repairs are needed. “Buildings & Trades will be entering the building to determine when they can return, that is a priority for me now.”