PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - A 100-year-old building is still causing problems for downtown Pine Bluff.
The first time the building collapsed was approximately in July of 2014. The second collapse happened on Wednesday morning, two and half years later.
“This morning I was contacted by a neighboring business owner that some additional collapse had taken place,” Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shaun Howell said.
This vacant building is still standing and still continues to fall apart. The building sits on Main Street and the street has been shut down for two years because of the danger the building poses. Chief Howell said the downtown area cannot continue to go down this path.
“Too much time has went by with little to no maintenance on this building,” he said.
The city has tried persuading building owner Garland Trice to tear down, but so far have been unsuccessful. The bricks that fell from the building this morning destroyed a truck, damaged several businesses, and some of the bricks even fell into the street.
“There's this huge mess and our buildings demolished,” said Kay Williams, who has worked at Lee and Company for the past sixteen years.
That business sits right next to the caved in building. Williams was there for the first collapse and now the second. She said this is a dangerous environment she's scared to work in.
“When you go back to the back of the office the restrooms are back there and the kitchen is back there," Williams explained. "When we go to the back we've been told not to linger too long in case the building falls again.”
The road closing also affects their business with clients. Williams said clients consistently call to ask for directions. With one way in and one way out, Williams said this should've been taken care of a long time ago.
“It's been a hardship for all of us right here on Main Street,” she said.
The Pine Bluff city attorney's office said they are still in court with the owner of the building and they hope this issue will be taken care of soon.
(© 2017 KTHV)