Tenants forced out of apartment morning after building collapses

JERSEY SHORE — At least a half a dozen people were forced out of their apartments early this morning after part of the back of their six-unit apartment building on South Main Street collapsed, Tiadaghton Valley Regional police and fire officials said.

It was believed the collapse happened overnight, but it was not discovered until 6:20 a.m.

A tenant called 9-1-1; police and fire responded and everyone in the structure at 435-437-439 S. Main St. was told to get out.

“I heard a big humongous bang in the middle of the night. I thought someone was moving furniture,” said one man who lived in the building with his wife.

The couple, in their 40s, declined to give their names. They have lived in the building just over a month.

Police believed the collapse may have occurred about 4:30 a.m.

“I had a weapon in my hand when I heard pounding on the door. I thought someone was kicking my door in,” said the same man.

It was a police officer at the door, telling everyone to leave.

He and his wife grabbed their small dog, but they had to leave their two cats behind.

Pat Thiesenhusen was routed from the apartment she shares with her daughter, Denise Hill.

“Police came to my door and said ‘You’ve got to get out because the building is falling down,’ “ Thiesenhusen said.

Hill said she heard a noise out back overnight, but thought it was nothing more than a stray cat knocking over a stack of totes.

Another tenant, Michael Lowmiller, who lives in the building with his mother, Michelle, said when he got up in the middle of night, he discovered there was no electricity to the building so he called PPL. He did not hear any noise outside.

It was unknown if and when any of the tenants would be allowed back in to get their cats and personal possessions that they had to leave behind.

The borough’s codes officer was on the scene.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was helping find housing for the 10 people who lived there.

Police said no one is allowed in the building until it is stabilized.