On its last leg

88-year-old building begins to come down

Youngsville Chief of Police Todd Mineweaser looks at the building at 1 West Main Street that partially collapsed Thursday.

A building at 1 West Main Street in Youngsville partially collapsed Thursday morning.

“It’s an older building,” said Warren County Public Safety Director Todd Lake. “With the weather being very cold and then warming up,” according to Lake, snow and ice freezing puts pressure on already cracking mortar, and when the ice melts, it creates space that has no support. “It’s just a lot of years of weather.”

The building was constructed in 1930, and used an old style of construction that included layers of bricks between wood frames, as opposed to cement shells with outer layers of brick, according to Lake.

The main concern at this point is pedestrian safety. One tenant lives in the building but will not be able to stay there, said Lake, because electric lines had to be cut as they fell into the street after the partial collapse. The gas to the building also had to be cut, Lake said.

At this point, gas to the remainder of the block remains intact, however, if more of the building begins to crumble the main gas line for the entire block, which runs along the length of the building, will need to be cut and a temporary line run until the structure can be stabilized.

Lake advised any pedestrians in the area to stay behind the caution tape and avoid getting too close to the building.