OZARK, Mo. – A historic building in the Ozark downtown square has partially collapsed.
At the corner of First and Church Street, the front portion of a historic brick building that housed a local business — Adventure Coffee Co. — collapsed, leaving piles of bricks and rubble on the sidewalk and street.
Crews are still working to find out how the collapse occurred.
Officials with the Ozark Fire Protection District explained how everyone was evacuated safely.
“We were advised there was one employee that was at the building when it collapsed,” said Asst. Chief Aaron Heaton. “As soon as it happened, she was able to quickly evacuate the building. This entire block is built up of Iguana Roja, the Mexican restaurant, the Department of Revenue building, as well as another coffee shop.
“Above those businesses is four other apartments. There were occupants in those buildings that were unaffected by the initial collapse. We were able to have crews quickly get in and evacuate them, as well as their pets. They are completely out of the building.”
Sheila Goodrich and Lou Miller work in the Ozark License Bureau, just a few buildings down from the collapse.
“We heard this loud noise,” they said. “We thought a car was coming through the building. We came outside and saw this.”
The ladies said they wanted to make sure everyone was okay. What’s next for getting back into their business, is still unknown.
“I don’t know how soon we can reopen,” said Goodrich. “Just whenever they tell us we can.”
Crews said they are waiting for advisement from structural engineers. The current concern, they said, is the structural integrity of the building and the other buildings that remain on the square.
City officials said the historic building that collapsed was constructed back around 1910.