By Kaylee Lindenmuth
GIRARDVILLE - The front of a pair row homes in Girardville collapsed overnight, closing a portion of sidewalk on Ogden Street, and the borough is hoping to take down the set of four soon.
According to Girardville Fire Chief Frank Zangari, the front of 15 East Ogden Street came down around 2:00am early Friday morning.
"The municipality responded quickly to take care of safety measures," said Zangari.
No injuries were reported, and both homes were abandoned.
Crews taped off the remains of the building, and the borough will need to decide next steps in the near future. Borough council president Rob Krick said the borough is looking into the cost of an emergency demolition, and hopes to take action by the end of next week.
"I think it's pretty clear we're going to have to take some action," said Krick. "We're probably going to take four of them down."
The collapse is the second in just over two weeks in the borough, the prior occurring on West Main Street. The block of row homes in Ogden Street has also been a key issue in the borough's fight against blight. As of last summer, all but four homes in the row were abandoned. Krick, then, spoke about the row during a blight committee tour of town last July.
"We have to come up with strategies, like on Ogden Street where we have a group of blighted properties, we've got to be able to try to get ahold of them and own all of them, so that the demo project can make sense and we can take down about eight houses," Krick said then. A week after that blight committee meeting, Krick, Senator David G. Argall, and a group from the Department of Community and Economic Development visited the properties.
The cost of a building demolition can range from $10,000 to $80,000 or more, a cost local borough's aren't prepared to absorb. The Main Street demolition cost the borough $20,000, Krick said.
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