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Contractors trying to stabilize collapsed building

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:07:27 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 17 2014 04:43:54 AM CDT

Collapsed building can be saved

READING, Pa. -

Contractors were back on scene Monday, trying to stabilize a historic building in Reading after part of it came crashing down late Thursday night.

The building on South Fifth and Cherry streets dates back to the 1700's.

City officials said the building owner has taken charge to get the building fixed, but frustration is mounting among residents and business owners

"For me it's very, very hard," said Carmen Rosario, one of many people displaced after the partial collapse.

Rosario has just about reached her boiling point. She has no hot water or gas inside her apartment next to the building.

"I am very frustrated because, at my age,  I shouldn't be going through this," said Rosarion, who has been staying at a hotel with her 10-year-old grandson.

Rosario returned home Monday morning to pick up some items, but she claimed no one has told her she was allowed back inside her building to stay.

According to the owner, residents next-door to the collapse site were told they could return home on Saturday.

"I'm going to call the owner to find out if I can stay here, because I'm tired of going back and forth since Thursday night," said Rosario.

Crews returned to the site Monday to shore up The Daniel Rose House. It was built in 1764 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Part of the building came crumbling to the ground late Thursday night after torrential rains.

Some residents are still displaced, and businesses like Josephine's Nails were forced to close for days.

"With that construction around here, we can't open the business because it's too dangerous," said Tai Nguyen, owner of Josephine's.

The nail salon was back open Monday, but business was far from normal.

"The business is a little bit slow because somebody seen it happened right here and they're afraid to come around here," said Nguyen.

The owner said the goal is to preserve the building. They're working to have it stabilized soon and then an engineer will be back out to inspect. Residents and business are hoping that happens this week.