RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond are in shock and disbelief after a large portion of a vacant building collapsed Saturday night.
Emma Foster is a neighbor who recently moved into the building adjacent to the partially collapsed structure and said she couldn’t believe what she saw.
“There was a leak in my ceiling… got that all finally resolved and I went to go leave my apartment and there’s probably around three fire trucks right here,” Foster said. “They’re blocking off this area behind me and I was like ‘what is going on?’”
Foster said fire crews on scene told her there was a collapse of a building. Afterward, she said she saw multiple people leaving their apartments to check what happened. The aftermath was too alarming for her to stay the night in her own apartment, so she opted to sleep at a friend’s residence.
Jaclyn Spain and Kyle Cherry — who live nearby on the third floor of their apartment complex –were at their residence when they felt their building shake as the nearby structure collapsed. Both said it felt as if there was a small earthquake tremor.
“It sounded like freight train shook the building, I checked on her first, looked outside and it was chaotic,” Cherry said.
“I thought that somebody drove into the building. I thought that a car had crashed, ’cause I heard glass,” Spain said.
The aftermath left large amounts of debris, and glass scattered all along the alleyway and parking lot of the area.
8News was able to speak with one property manager of an adjacent apartment complex.
“If it does collapse, it would be like having a tsunami of brick and molder and wood and who knows what, just tsunami on into and over my property and that’s very concerning,” said the property manager, Dawn Bishop.
“We, all around here, want the city to somehow help us make sure that no more damage occurs and that the buildings that are across from and next to this particular building are not affected as far as structurally and any other way,” Bishop added.
8News reached out to authorities and city officials, after which the Richmond Fire Department responded, saying the cause of the collapse is unknown and under review and the building’s owner is cooperating with the Fire Marshall and building inspector in regard to next steps.
Authorities said that despite the large debris strewn about the area, no injuries nor displacements have been reported.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.