Strong winds cause collapse of historic Milwaukee building

MILWAUKEE -- Strong winds damaged a significant portion of an historic building on Milwaukee's south side on Friday, November 23rd.

"The back wall fell in to the barn. It didn’t fall into the outside building. That wall over there," Mark Lien, the building's owner said pointing to the south wall, "kind of fell against the trees."

A third wall, from the building's north side, also collapsed, falling into an alley and nearly hitting a woman who was walking in the alley alongside of the building.

"The whole thing came down," Jose Mendoza said after seeing the collapse happen. "There was some lady that was walking right there, but you know, it just all came down."

Tracy Vanderpool was folding laundry inside of her house across the street from the building when a loud noise caused her to look out her window.

"That’s when I saw these things just 'shoom'. They just, they just fell," Vanderpool said. "And there’s this woman that lives here, one of my neighbors, she’s walking in this alley and I swear she was like 5 seconds close to death. She narrowly escaped."

Some of the north side wall ended up laying across over head cables and power lines above the alley. After a few hours,Lien was able to remove the debris and no power was lost in the neighborhood.

The building in question is a former livery stable at 8th and Greenfield. FOX6 News has learned it was one of the city's first fire houses built in 1893. For the last two months, crews have been taking the building apart.

There was no roof on the building because it had already been taken off during the demolition process.

A city of Milwaukee building inspector was on site Friday afternoon to make sure the parts of the building that are still standing are stable.

Lien hopes to have the entire building demolished in a week.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.