CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — A building in Chinatown was evacuated Wednesday amid fears of a collapse after a brick facade partially detached.

The FDNY asked Department of Building inspectors to conduct a structural stability test at 111 Mott St.

Inspectors found a section of brickwork that was partially detached and threatened to collapse onto the sidewalk.

They also found a fire escape that was damaged by corrosion and had steps partially torn off, blocking passage for some tenants in the building.

The answer came after resident Rachel Bryant woke up Wednesday morning and looked out her window. She could not believe her eyes.

“They’re kind of swaying, the whole front of the building is connected together, and then it’s all going to come down with the fire escapes and everything on the side of the building,” said resident Rachel Bryant.

She called the fire department, and she called the building department.

The Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order for 111 Mott Street and a partial vacate order for the ground floor commercial space at 109 Mott Street.

Soon, residents of more than a dozen apartments were told that they should pack up and leave for at least two or three days.

“I have bills, contacts, food because I thought the food was going to spoil, clothes for a week, computer, work stuff,” resident Claire Cohen said. “It’s practically my life in bags for a week.

The Red Cross provides assistance to 15 people in 9 apartments. Others stay either with family or friends.

Fortunately, no injuries have been reported yet.

It’s a major inconvenience for the people who live in the building, but city inspectors say they’re glad they got there. If the facade had crumbled onto the pavement, it could have been a very different story.

The DOB says the only valid permit at 111 Mott Street was related to wiring.

An investigation into the building’s troubled past is underway.


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