Partial building collapse in Palestine - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Partial building collapse in Palestine

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV)- Road closures are in effect after part of a building suddenly collapsed Tuesday in Palestine.

It happened around 11 a.m. downtown--near the intersection of Houston and E. Oak Street.

People who live and work nearby said they could feel the ground shaking for blocks.

"It was this real deep rumble. The building shook, the lights flickered.. It was scary," said Chris Gouras.

Gouras lives right next door to the Ivanhoe number 15.. The building that's roof collapsed.
He says the rubble coming down made so much noise he had no idea what he was hearing..

"I ran out and opened the door and all I saw was rubble and the dust from it blowing away," he said.

Some said they thought a train de-railed. Others said they wondered if it was an earthquake.

"It was like 20 transformers blowing all at once," Gouras said.

"The building official was actually driving by when it collapsed and was just less than a block away. He saw a big cloud of smoke and turned around to come back and look at it," said Fire Marshal Alan Wilcher.

Officials said they aren't sure what caused the collapse right now. They're waiting for the wind to die down so they can send a ladder truck up to investigate.

"It looks like it's weather related. It looks like maybe the torrential rains we had here the last couple of days played a part in it, but we don't know for a fact until we can get up there and look at it," Wilcher said.

They said some water is leaking from the building but they don't know yet if that contributed to the collapse or is a result of it.
Whatever the reason behind the collapse, Gouras said he is glad everyone is o.k.

"Very grateful. The only thing that happened was one of the pieces of stone up top went through the window," he said.

And as scary as it was, Gouras said he knows things could have been a lot worse.

Officials said the majority of Ivanhoe No. 15 has been vacant for years. They said there are two small businesses that run out of the ground floor, but neither of them were open when the roof fell.

For now, Houston Street at E. Oak and Avenue A are closed. Officials said they anticipate those roads saying closed for at least a couple of days.

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