Butler County Times Gazette
  • Wind collapses downtown building's wall

  • No one was injured when a wall of a downtown Leavenworth building collapsed Thursday afternoon, a Fire Department official said.
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  • No one was injured when a wall of a downtown Leavenworth building collapsed Thursday afternoon, a Fire Department official said.
    The collapse was reported at 12:05 p.m. Thursday at 402 S. Second St., Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lingenfelser said.
    The building is part of the ongoing Stove Factory Lofts development and previously was part of the Tire Town and Great Western Stove complex in downtown Leavenworth.
    Steve Foutch, managing director of the developer Foutch Brothers, said a "perfect storm" of circumstances resulted in the collapse of the building's east wall.
    He said workers had been making structural repairs to the building. The roof had been removed, and a microburst of wind swept into the building, pushing onto the wall.
    Foutch said the wall collapsed outward.
    He said workers were breaking for lunch and walking to their cars when they heard the collapse.
    When firefighters arrived on scene, they were told all workers had been accounted for, Lingenfelser said.
    Barricades already were in place in the area of the construction zone, but city personnel put up additional barricades after the collapse, said Melissa Bower, public information officer for the city of Leavenworth.
    "We're going to rebuild," Foutch said.
    He said Foutch Brothers plans to put studio apartments in the building. The building could be open by the end of the year.
    Other buildings in the development should open sooner, he said.

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