Provided by Oswego City Police Department
OSWEGO, NY – On July 25, at about 4:56 p.m. a vacant church, located on East Fourth Street at State Route 104 in the city of Oswego, partially collapsed.
There were no injuries as a result of the collapse, but for safety concerns and due to the location of the building, it did necessitate the closing and evacuation of the East Park Harborfest venue.
Emergency services responded and began evacuating area residents and businesses.
Work crews determined that the structural integrity of the remaining portions of the building were such that demolition was immediately required.
After clearing the area of bystanders, the Oswego City Fire Department began a water operation at approximately 8:35 p.m. to bring down the steeple which was the largest and most dangerous portion of the building.
At about 8:46 p.m. the water operation was successful in bringing down the unstable portion of the steeple and west wall.
Heavy equipment was utilized to bring down the remaining portions of the building that caused safety concerns.
Traffic was detoured to Utica Street during the demolition.
Crews worked into the night and were able to successfully bring down the remaining portions of the building.
Early this morning (July 26), the debris was cleared from the roadway and State Route 104 was reopened to vehicular traffic.
Responsibility for cleanup and debris removal has been turned over to the property owner.
According to Oswego City Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie; “We feel most fortunate that no one was walking down the sidewalk or driving by at that very moment. A change in time of collapse by the slightest time could have been disastrous.”
The many departments that assisted in the demolition and cleanup should be credited for a job well done, he added.
According to Oswego City Police Chief Michael J. Dehm, Jr., â€œWe were fortunate to have additional resources readily available due to the weekendâ€™s Harborfest events. Everyone worked together to get the job done. We would also like to thank area residents, businessowners, and Harborfest vendors some of whom may have been temporarily displaced for safety reasons, for their cooperation and patience. In all, we had great cooperation from everyone.â€