Clinton Hill brownstone partially collapses

By Sarabeth Sanders | January 21, 2010 05:56PM

A partial collapse at a rundown Clinton Hill brownstone has forced residents in two neighboring buildings to evacuate their homes.

The brownstone at 196 Lefferts Place, a 19th-century three-story building between Classon and Franklin avenues, was vacant when part of its façade collapsed Tuesday evening, said Ryan Fitzgibbon, a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings. There were no reported injuries after the incident, which was first reported by Brownstoner.

DOB officials inspected the site and ordered the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to demolish the building.

Residents of the adjacent two-family home at 194 Lefferts Place and three-family home at 198 Lefferts Place were evacuated “as a precautionary measure,” Fitzgibbon said, and will be able to return once demolition is complete. The American Red Cross was leading the relocation efforts Tuesday evening.

HPD began demolishing what remained of the façade last night since it was in danger of collapsing, said Eric Bederman, a spokesperson for the agency. An asbestos abatement is planned for the next two days, after which the rest of the building will be demolished.

It is unclear how long 196 Lefferts Place has been vacant. The owner, according to city records, is Larry Tyrone Williams. He has been issued an Environmental Control Board violation for the collapse and will have to pay a fine and appear in court, Fitzgibbon said. The listed phone number for Williams’ nearby home at 192 Lefferts Place has been disconnected.

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