Greenfield Fire CHief Bob Dudley, Greenfield Mayor Eddie McKelvy, Greenfield Police Chief Danny Harris
Officials in Greenfield are still trying to piece together the turn of events that brought down a building on Front Street and cost a construction worker his life.
A construction crew was working to clear a lot on Front Street in downtown Greenfield Monday morning when the adjacent restaurant, Legends Lil’ Italy collapsed, trapping three crew members in the rubble. Two of the workers were freed from the debris. The third crewman – 33-year-old Renardo Jackson – lost his life in the collapse.
During a press conference held Tuesday morning by Greenfield Fire Chief Bob Dudley, Mayor Eddie McKelvy and Greenfield Police Chief Danny Harris, details of Monday’s incident were brought to light.
Dudley opened the media conference by sharing details of the incident report he had filed the day before. According to Monday’s report, three people were trapped due to the building’s collapse. One man was inside the building and the other two were outside of the structure when it fell.
The man inside the building, Wilson Beale, was removed without complication or injury, according to the report. Beale, who was apparently shook up afterwards, was part owner of the pizza business.
Legends Lil’ Italy was not open at the time of the collapse and Beale was the only person inside during the incident.
Kevin Davis, who was found buried waist down in debris, was the second victim. Davis was treated at the scene upon recovery and transported to the hospital. Davis, a construction worker, was reportedly released from the hospital Monday night with minor injuries.
Jackson was said by Davis to have been 10 to 12 feet from him at the time of the collapse. Emergency workers reportedly found Jackson’s body that exact distance away from where they found Davis.
“It (Monday) was a very sad, dark day for our community. Our condolences go out to Mr. Jackson’s family during this hard time,” Mayor Eddie McKelvy said of Jackson’s death.
Funeral arrangements for Jackson are planned for Friday at Williams Funeral Home in Greenfield. A visitation will be held at 1 p.m. with services to follow at 2 p.m.
Dudley told reporters at the press conference 16 different organizations showed up to help with the rescue efforts. Those who responded and volunteered to assist the Greenfield Fire Department included: McKenzie, Dresden, Sharon, and Pillowville fire departments; Greenfield, Bradford, and Martin police departments; Weakley County Rescue Squad; EMS; Weakley County Sheriff’s Department; the county’s Highway Department; Emergency Management Agency; Tennessee Highway Patrol and Weakley County Municipal Electric System, according to Dudley’s report.
Dudley offered his appreciation of all who assisted with Monday’s incident.
“We couldn’t have done it without all their help and support. A big thanks to everyone that did respond,” the fire chief said.
Keith Tucker has owned the building that collapsed for almost 10 years and it has reportedly been in his family for more than 30 years. He was on hand after the conference with an engineer from his insurance company to assess the damage. According to reports, damages are estimated at $75,000.
“It’s pretty much a total loss,” Tucker said about the building. Tucker also claimed that the age of the building never was ignored by him or city officials. Many projects have been undertaken over the last 10 years after previous inspections to try to keep it up to code, according to the owner.
Some of these mentioned by Tucker included new electrical and plumbing systems, as well as floor shoring under the building.
An engineering firm from Memphis was on the scene Tuesday morning to evaluate the other five buildings in the remaining middle section of Front Street. After hours of examining them, owners were allowed to re-open their doors for business. No one had been allowed inside or around the neighboring Front Street buildings since the incident. The only building not fully cleared by engineers by Tuesday was the one adjacent to Lil’ Italy’s. It was being used as a storage facility.
After the inspection was complete, Dudley said there was some minor structural damage to the adjacent building that will have to be repaired before it can be occupied again and the remains of Lil’ Italy will have to be completely torn down.
The investigation regarding the actual cause of the building’s collapse continues, but Dudley said that information should be available in a full written report by the beginning of next week.