(Photo by Paul J. Gately)
GATESVILLE (January 29, 2014) A downtown Gatesville building that was scheduled for demolition got a head start on the process Wednesday as a portion of the structure collapsed on its own.
The building, along with two more in the same block, belongs to the City of Gatesville.
All three were scheduled to be torn down beginning Thursday, but a gust of wind stated the process a bit early, assistant Gatesville fire Chief Robert Featherston said.
Featherston also works for the City of Gatesville as a code enforcement officer.
The three buildings were given to the city by the Davis family some years ago, Featherston said.
A demolition crew had begun the process of separating the buildings to be demolished from those next door which are to be saved, Featherston said.
The process may have weakened the walls of the older buildings and that may have resulted in the failure.
A portion of the brick façade caved in and most of the roof of the building collapsed.
Traffic along the westbound side of Main Street was restricted to one lane because there was debris in the roadway and on the sidewalk.
The building sits about half-a-block east of the site where another building collapsed in 2007 during a heavy rain storm.
The old City Drug Store building came crashing down after the roof collected so much rain water it could not support the weight.
Two women and a child who were inside were able to escape without injury just as the roof tumbled in.
That spot now is the site of the new Coryell County Appraisal District building.