Resident unharmed when building roof partially collapses


RICHMOND, Ind. –Gary Johnson woke up around 4 a.m. Saturday in his first-floor apartment on North D Street.

When he did, he heard noises from the second floor, a place he never goes to, leaving that to the workers at Monger Transfer & Storage.

“I heard noises coming from upstairs,” Johnson said. “I thought either an animal had entered or someone had entered.

“I sat on my bed, and all of a sudden it fell apart. There was a big bang.”

The roof collapsed on the second floor, sending bricks and debris onto North D Street. Johnson didn’t know exactly what the boom was until he came out of a garage door outside. west end of the building.

“I didn’t see it until I opened the overhead door,” Johnson said. “Then I saw the bricks.”

When the Richmond Fire Department arrived around 9:40 a.m., a firefighter drove Johnson’s van from the garage across North D Street to the Purina parking lot. Johnson sat inside the truck as he spoke about the destruction of the building where he had lived for about 10 years.

“I never thought that in a million years this side would go down first,” said Johnson, who worked for Monger’s and is friends with Eric Monger, the current owner of 521 N.D St., who has more than 100 east and west sections. year.

The Monger business is based in the three-story east side of the building. RFD Lt. Kyle George said this team could probably be saved. The collapsed roof only covered the western two-story portion of the building.

George was one of the firefighters to climb the department’s 100ft aerial ladder bucket to view the damage. RFD’s drone also hovered over the building for a bird’s eye view.

Firefighters ripped out a few loose items for a better view and pulled out a few century-old books from the second floor.

A yellow tape ran through the parking lot of the nearby Crosstown Carry-Out liquor store, and North D Street was blocked off from North Fifth Street at the intersection with Fort Wayne Avenue and North Seventh Street.

After noon, firefighters and city officials were concerned that the west wall of the building would collapse into the liquor store parking lot, causing more debris to fall down North D Street.

Johnson hoped to return to his apartment to collect medicine and clothing; however, about three hours after the collapse, authorities were still deciding the fate of the building. Aaron Jordan, the city’s building commissioner, decided that the west side of the building needed to be demolished urgently.

Eventually Johnson received some of his belongings and by 4 p.m. Culy Contracting was preparing to demolish the condemned part of the building.

Richmond Fire Department personnel remove loose materials from a damaged building Saturday, July 2, 2022.

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