Building in ‘Very Poor’ Condition Collapses on Tower Avenue in Centralia

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A large building located at 534 N. Tower Avenue collapsed last week.

As a safety precaution in the case of further collapse, the city of Centralia and the building owner blocked off the sidewalk and one lane of the two-lane  road.

The building, purchased by the current owners in 2019, was built in 1955 and was described as being in “very poor” condition by Lewis County Parcels before the collapse. The one-story building is about 18,000 square feet. 

Emil Pierson, community development director for Centralia, said that the city is working closely with the Washington State Department of Transportation as the far-end of Tower Avenue where the building is located is part of state Route 507.

“We are working with the building owner right now to make sure the building stays structurally sound so additional brickwork and things like that aren’t compromised and fall onto pedestrians. That’s why we require that fencing there,” Pierson said.

Pierson said that the roof collapsed on Tuesday. The city was notified by that afternoon and sent inspectors over immediately. 

“We’re working with the building owners and our goal is safety first, no matter what — for cars, pedestrians, building users, future users — safety is our number one goal,” Pierson said.

The collapse came after heavy snow fell across the region last weekend. 

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