Part of building collapses at Missouri Avenue and Campbell Street in Kansas City, Missouri

Building may be demolished as early as Thursday
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 09:48:25-04

UPDATE: City officials said the building my be demolished as early as Thursday.

The city released the following statement:

The building has been declared an emergency due to the immediate threat of further collapse and imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public.  We were going to allow the owner to stabilize the building until the structural engineer made the assessment that the building was unsound due to the wet rot deterioration of the floors, the partial collapse that occurred this morning, as well as the area of masonry severely out of plumb and on the verge of collapsing.  The building could not be shored up due to these conditions.  Based on the assessments made by City staff, KCFD and the structural engineer, the city sent out bids to contractors late this afternoon and demolition work may start by tomorrow morning.  KCPD will be at the scene for the evening and up to 48 hours to ensure the area stays roped off and secure for public safety.


Part of a building collapsed at Missouri Avenue and Campbell Street in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday morning.

A portion of the roof fell on cars on the street. Kansas City fire crews said no one was hurt. 

Fire crews conducted a primary search of the building and found no one inside. 

"We consider it highly dangerous," Battalion Chief James Garrett with the Kansas City Fire Department said. "There is a very distinctive bow in the building right now, so something has to be done about the building." 

What's next for the building

Structural engineers called to the scene by the city have determined the third floor and the front of the building will be removed to stabilize the structure, according to Director of City Communications Chris Hernandez. Crews are expected to begin that work Wednesday afternoon. 

Hernandez also said in a news release that the building will then be placed on the city's dangerous buildings list, a case will be opened, and the owner will have 30 days to make substantial progress in rebuilding the structure. 

The building's history

According to Hernandez, the structure, a three-story mixed use building, is believed to be about 100 years old. 

Hernandez said city inspectors have been to the property many times, and no problems had been noted with the parapets. Most of the issues involved property nuisance issues, such as trash and weeds.

A 2016 case dealt with a retaining wall that started to collapse. Hernandez said that was not part of the building, and the owner does have a court date in August related to that summons. 

City records show a series of problems dating back over eight years.

In June 2008, city inspectors cited the property owner for an un-maintained yard and rainwater being diverted onto a neighboring property. The case was closed a little over a year later after the problems were fixed.

A second case for trash and weeds was opened in June 2013. Further inspection found 15 violations. They included the building not being structurally sound and a danger to the health and safety of the public. That case took nearly 2 1/2 years before all the repairs were made and the property passed inspection.

A third case began this past February. It started with violations for trash, broken windows and a person living on commercial property. A retaining wall on the east side of the property was also found to be falling apart. To date, those issues are unresolved.

The case is scheduled for court next month.

Neighborhood reacts

Many folks on the block will tell you they felt the moment this building partially collapsed.

Tuynh Bui, better known as “T.B.,” lives right across the street.

“Almost like an 18-wheeler dropping from the sky going down - it rumbled, it make the vibration really, really badly,” Bui said.

His breakfast Wednesday morning came with a side of bricks and debris.

“I walked out the front, I saw that whole corner of that building just collapse down,” Bui said.

The tumbling bricks crushed a Toyota Camry. Bui said the owner had just parked.

“He just left his car about one minute, last in one minute before the whole thing just fell down,” Bui said.

Lam Nguyen’s small red SUV was parked behind debris dented his hood.

As inspectors surveyed the damage from above and the ground, it attracted the attention of curious onlookers.

“Most of these buildings are pretty good, it's part of the city, and to see one kind of just fall apart like that is kind of crazy,” Memori Vance said.

The building’s owner is Tom Tran, who told 41 Action News he bought the structure 10 years ago and would hate to lose it because of its historic value to the Columbus Park neighborhood.

“They tell me there's some safety concern about the brick and they would like me to fix it, so I will go along with them and fix whatever they request me to do,” Tran said.

Tran will have 30 days to do major fixes to get it off the city’s dangerous buildings list.



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