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UPDATE: Rain plays role in South Bend building collapse

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 12:04 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind, (WNDU) - We’re learning more on why a vacant South Bend building collapsed and hit a sleeping neighbor’s home over the weekend.

The city tells 16 News Now the heavy weekend rain that poured on an already bad roof brought the building down.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - An abandoned building on the 1100 block of East Indiana Avenue collapsed around 1:45 p.m. Sunday.

Tony Capers was asleep in his home when his wife suddenly rushed into their room.

“My wife she comes waking me up like, ‘Hey, something something, live wire smell smoke,’” Capers said. “You know I’m out of it, I’m taking my time. I finally get dressed, come outside the door. I see the side of the building on the house and I’m like, ‘Whoa, this is more serious than I thought.’”

An abandoned building collapsed next to Capers’s home, and part of it fell on his home.

He says luckily there’s no damage to the inside of his house. First responders say because it was a lightweight structure, the collapse didn’t make much noise.

“Neighbors were even saying it sounded like a truck riding down the street,” Capers said. “My wife was sitting in the living room, which is right there in the front room, she said she thought it was thunder.”

Marietta Tyks witnessed the structure fall and made the initial call to 911.

“The whole thing just kind of went poop,” Tyks said. “I think that was because of all the rain. It just weakened the whole structure and it just fell in.”

Glen Wesaw also witnessed the collapse and wanted to make sure everyone in the area was okay.

“Make sure the kids and everybody are away from the power lines,” Wesaw said. “That was my first reaction, like make sure everybody’s safe. The neighbors, they were still in the house, so we were trying to get the neighbors out of the house. Luckily, the wife came out but the husband, I guess he works late-night, so he was still asleep when that fell down.”

Even with everything that happened, Capers remains in high spirits.

“It’s a beautiful day,” he said.

No one was injured in the incident and because the damage was minor, Capers is expected to be back in his home in a few days.

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