The walls came tumbling down

Employees from Widel, Inc. from Blackwater watch as portions of the last two walls come down at the Harrison Apartment Building at the corner of West Third Street and South Harrison Avenue mid-morning Friday.

A group of employees look on as owner of Widel Inc., Bob Widel, stands atop a pile on debris from the demolition of the Harrison Apartment Building.

Workers watch as a wrecking ball is moved into position to prevent the north wall of the Harrison Apartment Building from falling onto a house at 238 Harrison Ave. The owners of the home had been asked to not be in the house Thursday night or Friday according to Aron Widel of Widel Inc.

The arm of a long reach track hoe reaches out to tear down the final corner of the Harrison Apartment Building midday Friday. Workers completed the demolition in nearly six hours.

A lone refrigerator remains standing in an upper level apartment at the complex. Workers found various household items and furniture in the debris during the construction of the apartments.

A vintage 1970’s Pepsi Soda machine is removed from the Harrison Apartments during the demolition on Friday. Workers said the believed the building’s owner Gerald R. Moore was keeping the vending machine.

Workers from Widel Inc were on hand at 6:30 a.m. Friday to demolish the Harrison Apartment Building after recent heavy rains in Pettis County this week had further damaged the structure.

The building had suffered prior damage by a fire that caused the tenants to leave their residences in the building. The fire was November 18, of 2014.

“We moved in at 4 p.m. last night when we got a call from the building’s owner that the building needed to come down,” Aron Widel said mid- morning Friday. “We’re just here for the demolition, another crew will come in and do all the clean-up work.”

According to the Sedalia Police Department, the section of Third Street form Grand Avenue to Harrison Avenue and Harrison Avenue from Wilkerson Street to Third Street which had been closed are now open.

Widel’s father owns the business, which typically does dirt work and bridge construction work. A crew of five employees from the business was on hand to complete the demolition.

The crew arrived at the apartment around 6:30 a.m. Friday. It took the men a little over six hours to complete the demolition.

“We’ve got to be very careful so that we don’t damage any of the other houses in the area,” Widel said. “We’ve only done this type of work a few times before but so far it is going really well.”

Chief Building Inspector Andy Bert told the Democrat on Thursday that it appeared that the roof collapsed, and had bulged on the corner of Third Street.

Burt hoped that an engineering consultant could come to Sedalia Thursday night to inspect the property.

It is unclear due to city offices being closed for the Fourth of July holiday on Friday if the inspectors told the city that the structure need to come down or if building owners Gerald R. Moore and M. Kay Moore of Sedalia decided to demolish the building on their own.

Moore was at the scene of the apartments on Friday during the demolition, but would not comment.

Sedalia Democrat
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