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Restoration crews confident Reading historic building can be saved

Published On: Jun 14 2014 05:24:57 PM CDT

Crews work to rescue historic building

READING, Pa. -

Restoration crews now say one of Reading's oldest buildings can likely be saved. The historic Daniel Rose House, which dates back to 1764, partially collapsed late Thursday night.

South Fifth Street remains blocked at Cherry Street as workers raced to save the structure.

"It's a very historical building," said Amy Johnson, the city's historic preservation specialist. "It's very integral to the Callowhill Historic District."

Saturday, the building's owner gave 69 News an exclusive look inside. Wooden support beams are stabilizing the second and third floors on the inside. Crews on the scene said the damage is not as extensive as they first thought.

One construction worker who came to look was optimistic.

"It's going to be saved," said George Matamoros. "It's safe."

As for the residents who lived inside, it's not clear when they'll be able to return just to gather their belongings.

Inspectors and the building's owner think water may have gotten into the building and compromised its structural integrity. Johnson said it's a hidden danger that could threaten lots of other aging buildings because it's difficult for building inspectors to see.

"Water infiltration is one of our worst enemies," she said. "We've had other buildings fall in the city for that same reason."

The Daniel Rose House owner told 69 News that she first noticed water damage two weeks ago and reported it to her insurance company.

As crews race to save this piece of Reading's past, questions are now raised about how many more buildings are at risk.