ALBANY, N.Y. – A building collapse on Clinton Avenue is creating anger for residents who live nearby, some of them saying they’ve been concerned about the building for years.
All that remains of 162 Clinton Avenue is the facade. Around the back of the building, sits a huge pile of debris like wood, bricks, and pieces of metal. City officials say the roof of the vacant building fell in, causing the rest of the building to collapse on Friday.
"When I come out of my garage to open the door the whole thing was coming down. I had to push the door back,” said neighbor Rasheem Robinson
The collapse of the building was a terrifying ordeal for the Robinson’s, who live right next door.
"I was in the room with my infant son and the house shook and first I thought it was something was husband did and I ran to the back and it just missed him. My husband could have been dead. My son sleeps downstairs, he could have been dead,” said neighbor Jaime Robinson.
The Robinson’s have been displaced by the collapse and it’s unclear if they’ll be able to return because of concern that the stability of their structure could have been compromised.
"The goal is to not have to take down the buildings on either side. And so, we want to make sure we go slow enough that when that center piece does come down we don't lose the buildings on either side,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
Sheehan confirmed 162 Clinton Avenue had fallen into disrepair long ago. The original owners hadn't paid their taxes and the county had to take the building over. However, Sheehan explained that under current law, they can't take action on a county owned building unless it's in imminent danger of collapse.
"We send engineers, we take a look at things but we have restrictions around when we can take a building down,” said Sheehan.
The Robinson’s say they have been concerned about their neighboring building for years and that they've reached out to the city countless times.
“We know we've been keep complaining. Going down there time after time, getting code to come back and I feel disgusted," said Rasheem Robinson.
The American Red Cross has stepped in to provide the Robinson's with a local hotel room in the meantime. As for the next step, the Sheehan says the Department of Labor needs to come in and determine how best to remove the debris.