Gloucester Vacant Building Collapses, Officials Say No One Was Injured

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Wednesday morning, a one-story vacant building on the waterfront at 80 Commercial Street collapsed, town officials said in a statement to WBZ NewsRadio.

The Gloucester Fire Department, Harbormaster, Inspectional Services, and Conservation Division all responded to the incident, where no one was injured, officials said.

According to Gloucester officials, the approximately 5,000 square-foot section of the roof collapsed along with a section of the building's wall facing Commercial Street. Apart from damage to the building's structure, a natural gas connection was severed and resulted in a gas leak, the City of Gloucester said.

While firefighters worked to confirm that there was no dangerous buildup of natural gas, crews from National Grid quickly shut off gas to the building which already did not have electricity, officials said.

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In terms of the debris or hazardous material, town officials said that there was no evidence that any ended up in the harbor, but the Gloucester Conservation Division is monitoring the situation to make sure there are no environmental impacts.

Building Inspector William Sanborn said that the collapse appeared to have been caused by a buildup of water on a section of the roof, and that the building is a total loss. The adjacent building at 88 Commercial Street was not damaged in the incident, officials said. The structure was recently purchased by a new owner who will have to bear responsibility for the demolition and disposal of the building's remains, the City of Gloucester said.

Town officials said that drivers should avoid the area while demolition of the remaining building takes place, as traffic on Commercial Street is restricted.

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