• Portion of Montpelier building collapses in wind
    By David Delcore
     | April 08,2013
     
    Stefan Hard

    On a windy Sunday afternoon, Montpelier police and fire personnel look up to where a long wooden board and numerous bricks fell from the topmost portion of the building housing Aubuchon Hardware in Montpelier. See page B1. Staff Photo

    MONTPELIER — Gusting winds and deteriorating mortar are believed to be to blame for the Sunday afternoon collapse of a portion of a crumbling brick parapet wall atop the historic downtown building that houses Aubuchon Hardware.

    Fire Chief Robert Gowans said roughly a dozen bricks, a 12-foot section of two-by-four, and some copper flashing all fell to the sidewalk at about 2:30 p.m. No one was hurt, he said, and emergency personnel quickly cordoned off the sidewalk and seven parking spaces in front of the building and summoned a structural engineer.

    Representatives of DeWolfe Engineering responded to the scene and removed loose brick in two or three areas along the parapet wall, which extends roughly 3 feet above the roofline of the building, owned by the Aubuchon family.

    A tarp was placed over the wall, and Gowans said the sidewalk and parking spaces were kept off limits as a precaution overnight. He said representatives from DeWolfe planned to return to the building and conduct a more thorough analysis and consult the building's owner before deciding how to proceed.

    According to Gowans, a decision about whether to reopen the sidewalk would likely be made by midmorning.

    A pedestrian reportedly alerted emergency personnel that the bricks were falling Sunday.

    According to Gowans, it appeared gusting winds got under a section of copper flashing on the roof, toppling some of the brickwork.

    “It was very windy,” he said.

    The parapet wall is an architectural feature of the late-19th-century building but does not have any structural significance, Gowans said.

    david.delcore @timesargus.com

    MORE IN Central Vermont
    Leahy joins Marshfield woman in calling for stricter labeling requirements for generic drugs Full Story
    Maj. Gen. Patrick A. Full Story
    The City Council has approved a parking ordinance change that paves the way for CarShare Vermont... Full Story
    More Articles
  •  
     
    • MEDIA GALLERY 
    • VIDEOS
    • PHOTOS