Building facade collapses in Cranston, displacing all tenants

West Bay

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Bricks from the facade of a Cranston apartment building began crumbling down Friday morning, forcing residents from their homes.

Aroun 6:45 a.m., it was a rude awakening for the people living in the building on Bluff Avenue.

“My wife and I were asleep and we heard a huge crashing roar,” second-floor tenant Brian Wilder recalled. “Like a thousand bricks falling, which is what it was.”

Wilder told 12 News they were aware that the facade was buckling. He said the city had been there and that notices had been put up.

“The landlord had us move our cars out and he put up a rope,” he said. “I just expected a few bricks to fall, but the whole side of the building came down.”

People in six units were ordered to evacuate. Firefighters helped them collect their belongings before finding somewhere else to stay.

“Utilities been cut off, gas and power, and the rest of the brick is actually bowing in certain spots,” Deputy Fire Chief Will Morrocco said. “We can’t let people in there for chances of getting hurt.”

The building inspector also responded to the scene. Morrocco said authorities were working to get in touch with the building’s owner and property manager.

There is no word yet on when residents may be able to return to the building.

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