Local News

Building crack forces evacuations

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Up until Wednesday night, the big excitement on this block was the shoot for the new Robert Pattinson movie.

But the spotlight shifted, for a few hours, to a dramatic crack between two buildings that has some residents worried.

The crack between 273 and 275 Mott Street starts near the roof and shoots down more than 20 feet. It's a few inches wide already, and city officials want to know if all the rain is forcing the split even wider.

A complaint prompted firefighters to evacuate residents of 16 apartments in the two walk-up buildings for more than three hours. Megan O'Toole only moved in last month.

"I wish someone had told me about that when I moved in," she said.

A Sushi restaurant and clothing store were also evacuated during what should have been the busiest and most profitable part of the day.

"I wish I had the store open for the last two hours so we could be making money and not sitting out here," manager Anne Barker said.

Some residents were relieved that building inspectors were taking a closer look. Last weekend, an apartment building in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn collapsed due to unknown causes.

Back on Mott Street, inspectors are giving the building a clean bill of health. The crack has been here on the facade for years and sensors are already installed to monitor whether it's widening. Just after nine, everyone was allowed back inside.

"I'm a little worried. I don't know what they did to fix it, but if they said it's ok then I'm going to go in," Krista Reischel said.


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