170-year-old building suddenly collapses in Clinton County

Authorities fear Thursday’s wind and snow could make matters worse.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:29 PM EST
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CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A partial building collapse in New Vienna has officials worried the building could now fall down completely.

The back portion of the historic building that currently houses two restaurants suddenly caved in Wednesday morning.

Fire Chief John Johnson says the concern is strong winds and snowfall could force the rest of the roof to give way.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Johnson said. “Our first concern was to make sure everybody was out. There were a couple of employees there getting ready to open up. They got out safely. Nobody was hurt, and that was our main concern.”

Once restaurant employees inside the building were safe, Johnson says firefighters and officers worked to shut off gas and electrical lines.

‘We’ve got it secured tonight and we’re just waiting on the insurance company to okay the demolition of the building,” he said.

City officials hope to have a plan by Thursday morning for a controlled demolition in order not to damage the water main or neighboring properties.

“The people that do that type of work are pretty skilled in what they are doing, and they can make the building go in the direction that it needs to go,” Johnson said. “It’s an old building. We think it was built in 1851, so it’s been there a long time.”

The two restaurants will have to find new homes after the 170-year-old building goes down.

“We really don’t have that many building collapses, but as bad as it might be for the historical value and for the town, the fact that nobody got hurt is the biggest thing,” Johnson said.

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