Greenfield building collapses

Greenfield building collapses
Greenfield building collapses | Greenfield building collapses
Tragedy struck Monday when Legends Lil’ Italy at 108 North Front St. in downtown Greenfield collapsed about 9 a.m., killing one person.
Renardo Jackson, 33, was identified as the construction worker killed in the incident. (See related photo, Page 2.)
A construction crew was apparently working on a project for the city to clear the vacant lot next door. The men were digging footing to make a solid foundation for a mini-park where another building had been condemned and torn down last October.
One of the first emergency responders on the scene was Greenfield Fire Chief Bob Dudley, who said he heard and saw the structure fall while standing in front of the nearby fire station.
“I responded instantly and called for assistance from other agencies. When we got on the scene, we had a building that was 80 percent collapsed with three people reported missing. We rescued one immediately from the building that had collapsed out the rear. Response trainers, law enforcement, fire department and other volunteers of the community had to dig to help get the second man out to get him where he could get air. When the rescue agencies got here from the other communities, it took us three hours to free him from the debris that had fallen on him and he was then airlifted to the hospital.”
Tragically, the third missing man was trapped under 10 feet of debris and was reported as a fatality.
Rescue personnel worked continuously by digging a trench, what they call a trench rescue, to keep the dirt from falling on rescuers trying to dig the last victim out.
The rescue equipment used was from the Weakley County Rescue Squad. It was estimated that as many as 10 different agencies from Weakley County and surrounding areas came to assist in the rescue efforts.
Dudley had train traffic stopped during this time because he said he feared the vibrations could cause further damage to the structure while rescuers were on the scene.
It was unknown what caused the building to fall. A structural engineer was scheduled to inspect the damage later Monday afternoon to provide more answers.
The owner of the building was reportedly working with the city to form a plan of action to bring the over 100-year-old building back up to code.
“Our first responders here in this county, we just can’t say enough about them,” Greenfield Mayor Eddie McKelvy said. “They are just the best. I don’t know how there could be any better anywhere else. The conditions and circumstances that they are working under today to help are so dangerous that it makes them truly appreciated for their unbelievable efforts.”
Editor’s note: Matt Hubbard is a staff writer for The Weakley County Press in Martin.
Published in The Messenger 1.24.12

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