Partial Building Collapse On
September 28, 2018
On Friday, September 28, 2018, in the early afternoon, a loud crash was heard outside of Mazza Shoes and Vinnie's Pizza at 618 Brookline Boulevard. When the store owners looked outside they were amazed to see that the overhanging copper and wood overhanging awning, attached to the facade roof, along with some cement blocks had detached from the building and plummeted to the sidewalk below.
By the grace of God, no pedestrians were walking nearby and no injuries were reported. The firemen at Brookline Station 26 were immediately on the scene and the police arrived shortly after. The area was cordoned off and the damage assessed.
Firemen went to the roof and pushed off several more loose concrete blocks to prevent them from tumbling on their own. Business owners, Vince Mazza and Amvar Gufarov were told to close up their shops until a complete structural evaluation could be made of the building.
Three tenants who lived in the upstairs apartments were forced to vacate their homes and find temporary accomodations until the building was deemed safe. Mr. Mazza, the building owner and also one of the upstairs tenants, is now working with the city to facilitate the repair and reopening of the building. He said that the abnormal amount of recent rainfall and high winds weakened the structure and ultimately caused the collapse.
The debris along the sidewalk was cleaned up by Michael Palermo and removed within 24 hours of the collapse. Some of the ornate copper pieces were donated to Doug Brendel for display some day in a future-Brookline History Museum. As of Sunday, the area around the building was still restricted.
Accidents like this one bring to light the possibly fragile condition of some of Brookline Boulevard's near-century old buildings. Many are owned by outside landlords and rented to the business owners. It might be time for some of these owners to conduct a thorough inspection of their properties and perform the necessary preventative maintenance to help prevent another surprise accident such as this one.
Click on images for larger pictures
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