According to witness accounts, while patrons of Patties & Pints were enjoying a Saturday evening. At apx 8:45 pm, without warning, they heard a large rumble. “Not like a bang, but like a tremor”, one witness stated.
Portsmouth Fire was the first on the scene. They immediately noticed bricks on the street and a definite lean to the building located at 524 2nd St.
The building to the east seemed to be holding it up. However, as the minutes went by, stress cracks began to appear in the front of the building. It appeared the building would bow out and collapse between the 2nd and 3rd level.
2nd Street has been blocked from Court St to Market St. At the time of this release, the residents over Ghosts in the Attic antique store have not been evacuated. The building is leaning east and outward.
AEP and Columbia Gas have now disconnected potential fire hazards. The building will be supervised throughout the night. The area of 2nd Street between Court and Market will remain closed until further notice.
No injuries have been reported.
Shortly after midnight, word came in that the building collapsed even more.
The electric and gas had been shut off. The area had been barricaded.
This is what we saw.
As you can see, just a few bricks are remaining on the top facade. In addition, the pane glass on the front west side of the building seems to be supporting the storefront.
It is fairly certain these elements will collapse overnight.
Fire did not respond to this call. 2 Portsmouth PD units arrived as these pictures were being taken. They made sure the area was secure and cleared the call.
This building is very unstable. Avoid the area.
Portsmouth City Mayor, Kevin E Johnson, receives an early morning briefing from authorities.
Under the watchful eye of City workers, the shopkeeper enters the dangerous building in an attempt to remove important items.