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Roof collapses on abandoned Martinsville Street church

Thursday, July 7, 2011

(Photo)
Greencastle building, fire and police personnel assess the damage to the abandoned church at 24 Martinsville St. following the collapse of the building's roof Wednesday afternoon. [Order this photo]
A building on the city's south side that has looked on the verge of collapse for some time did just that Wednesday afternoon.

At 2:08 p.m., Greencastle police and firefighters were dispatched to a roof collapse near the intersection of Martinsville Street and U.S. 231. Upon arrival at 24 Martinsville St., they found more than half of the main roof of the abandoned church had fallen into the building.

Additionally, the west wall was seriously bowing out.

GFD Capt. Bill Miller said the main goal of personnel on the scene was to secure the location, particularly electrical and gas lines in the area.

Duke and Vectren personnel were on scene, ensuring service was cut off to the damaged building. Miller said cutting off gas to the church also temporarily stopped service to the home immediately to its southwest. Vectren was on schedule to have service back to the home by Wednesday evening.

Caution tape now warns passersby not to get too close to the dangerous building.

"The city's following all ordinances to make the area safe," Miller said.

Greencastle building commissioner Dave Varvel also responded to the incident, investigating the scene and ensuring the area remained secure.

City authorities said it is now up to the building's owner to raze the building or otherwise ensure the safety of the area.

The building is currently owned by Bud Skinner, who lives in the adjacent house.


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It's a start.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 5:28 AM

This building has been unsafe and falling down for a many years now. I don't understand why the city hasn't insisted that it be torn down long ago.

-- Posted by welovethiscounty on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 9:17 AM

sorry - i lost an "a" in there. my mistake.

-- Posted by welovethiscounty on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 9:18 AM

so sad.

-- Posted by interestedperson on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 11:32 AM

just demolish the building and charge the owner for it.

-- Posted by BTruth1958 on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 12:24 PM

It should have never gotten to this shape to begin with. The city should take the necessary steps to tear it the rest of the way down.

-- Posted by purple_heat on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 5:07 PM

There are other buildings in equally poor shape all around town. The structural integrity of most of those are compromised to the point of falling in as well. I think this is an indicator of a larger problem in our community. One that is potentially dangerous for curious kids as well as making neighborhoods look trashy. I can only imagine the variety of vermin and ferrel cats that live in these structures. People shouldn't own the property if they can't maintain it or afford to tear it down. Tear them down and if the owner can't pay auction off the property.

-- Posted by LitNup on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 9:01 AM


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