NEW YORK — The collapse of a protective wall at a commercial building in Brooklyn shuttered six businesses on Sunday.
The businesses on Avenue T in Flatlands went dark after bricks came crashing down at around 5:30 p.m.
“This is crazy, my son was inside,” said Dolly Rago, who owns Dolly’s Ices, which has been in business at the location for 31 years. “There were people outside. There were customers waiting to buy ices. “
Jay Fromer, a customer, couldn’t believe it.
“I’m standing out here getting a large pistachio ice and I hear a crackling noise. I’m saying what’s that? Then all the sudden the whole face of the building, from the corner to the end, started falling. So I took everybody and I pushed them into the street to get away,” said Fromer.
It was terrifying as dozens of customers inside the businesses, including a laundromat, church, and smoke shop, heard and watched the parapet – a low protective wall along the edge of the roof – slam down.
“This could’ve killed someone,” said Fromer.
Pastor Omar Marton immediately went into Kingdom Manor Church to grab his belongings.
“Literally seconds after I walked out of the church, and I got to about here, everything came crashing down, within seconds,” said Marton. “I’m thanking God for his protection.”
“This is a miracle in itself, it really is. This is a miracle nobody’s hurt,” said Stuart Sandel, a neighbor.
The Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order and ordered the building’s owner to install a construction fence around it for safety. The owner was also cited for failure to maintain the building.
DOB said its contractors will follow up with the owner and owner’s contractors to determine when repairs will be done. That will determine when the businesses reopen.