Residents are advised to avoid the area of West Third Street and South Harrison Avenue after the roof of the Harrison Apartments partially collapsed Thursday morning.
Sedalia Police Department officers responded to a report ofthe collapsing building just before noon and blocked off the area as well as evacuated residents in homes located next door.
“What’s important here is public safety,” said Community Development Director John Simmons, who was on scene. “Cars driving by, sidewalk usage, so we’re going to close down the street for today. (Chief Building Official) Andy (Burt) is assessing what we need to do to make it safe for this weekend, looking at structural issues.
“When we heard about this the first thing that came to mind was public safety, evacuating the neighbors and then assessing the building to bring it to a safe condition until it is repaired, but most likely demolished.”
The building was previously damaged by a fire in November 2014, which displaced all residents. No tenants have lived in the building since that time.
Third Street has been blocked off from Grand Avenue to Harrison Avenue, and Harrison Avenue has been blocked off from Wilkerson Avenue to Third Street. The streets will be blocked off indefinitely until an engineering firm can further assess the building and the city decides on a plan of action.
Burt told the Democrat while on scene that it appears the roof collapsed, and it has bulged on the corner of Third Street, but there are metal rods throughout the building to help with the structure. Burt said the next steps will be determined by what the engineering consultant reports to the city, and he hopes the consultant will be in Sedalia Thursday or Friday.
“We’re having an engineering consultant come look at it,” Burt said. “We’ll have a contractor come take off the loose hanging metal so it doesn’t become flying debris if we have more high winds.
“… The building is pretty well secure. It’s limited to the upper wall collapse.”
Burt said Wednesday’s strong storms were the most likely culprit in the building’s roof collapse.
“The water on the roof probably caused the roof to fall further and the parapet wall to collapse further,” he said.
The building has owned by Gerald R. and M. Kay Moore, of Sedalia, since 2005. They could not be reached for comment.