The roof of a vacant building in Van Buren, Indiana has collapsed, WANE 15 has learned.
The incident happened at a vacant building at 102 E. Main St., at the corner of Main and 1st streets in central Van Buren. An official at the Van Buren Clerk’s Office told WANE 15 the roof collapsed into the building.
Mark Kirkpatrick, owner of The Shop, heard the roof cave in from next door when it happened.
“Just heard a big crash, the ground shook and next thing you know there was red dust coming out of the top of it and after that that was it.” Kirkpatrick said.
A Van Buren firefighter at the scene said three-fourths of the roof caved in because the building was old.
“We all have been betting on how long it would take before it finally fell, and luckily now before the popcorn festival comes in, it’s going to have to be taken down now, no way around it.” Kirkpatrick said.
The building formerly housed apartments and a market, and was first used as an opera house. It has not been occupied in a year.
Police closed South 1st Street near the building. An investigation into the integrity of the structure was underway, the official said. The building was visably bowing.
As for the future of the building, City Council Members aren’t sure what will come of it.
“It was an old building, but it’s just it’s beyond repair. The mortors gone out of it so it’d be hard to restore that building, take a lot of money, so we’re hoping to get it down and maybe some day get a Dollar General or something like a little grocery in here.” Jerry Caudill said.
According to a Facebook post from INDOT Northeast Indiana, SR 5 between CR 400 and Main Street is expected to be closed until Tuedsay as crews continue to remove debris.