Building collapse displaces families

The old Faulkner building in downtown Hazard collapsed last Thursday, leaving some residents displaced and the building in need of repair.

On Oct. 10, a portion of the old Faulkner building in downtown Hazard on Maple Street collapsed, leaving some families displaced and the building in need of repair. Officials say that plans are in place to repair the building so residents can move back in. No one was injured in the collapse.

Billy Daniel Roll, the administrative officer of zoning buildings and permits for the City of Hazard said that he has already inspected the area.

“We met there at the site this morning (Oct. 15) and figured out a way to reconstruct the support wall and it’s just a matter of finding a contractor to do it and to get the permit and reconstruct it,” said Roll.

He said the families who were evacuated from that portion of the building are still displaced.

 “Those apartments still need to remain closed until we get a wall up which will allow us to construct the stairway,” Roll said.

Roll said that a few factors could have contributed to the collapse, including the building’s age, the old ventilation system that was on the collapsed portion of the building and the temperature changes affecting the structure’s concrete roof.

“My theory is that there was no impact or anything that hit the wall, my theory is that it was old age and the building was just old,” said Roll. He added that the temperature changes the area has experienced within the past few weeks, reaching 90 degrees and dropping to 50 degrees within days, likely damaged the building’s concrete roof.

“Probably that expansion from the high temperature cracked some of the concrete blocks then it shrunk again when the temperature cooled off,” Roll said.

Roll said that officials will be working on reconstruction efforts as soon as all of the necessary steps are taken, including finding a contractor and obtaining a permit.

“(The collapse) more or less relived the stress on the building and as long as we construct a good stable wall back it should be stable,” Roll said.

He added the other side of the building was stable and reconstruction would likely only need to be done on the side on which the collapse occurred. 

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