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MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – Demolition crews and city officials set up road closed signs and orange cones along Bowman Avenue because they don’t want anyone to get hit by falling debris.

Neighbors said they’re glad the vacant building collapsed and called it an “eyesore.”

“We sort of knew that was going to fall down sooner or later,” said Rudy Cole. “I thought it was a big car wreck because it was so loud.”

(Photo Credit: Meghan Schiller/KDKA)

Cole lives directly across the street and said the noise jolted him off the couch.

“When I came out, I saw cars everywhere and I saw the dust and bricks everywhere,” said Cole.

The majority of the vacant building’s outside wall toppled, sending bricks and cinderblocks crashing into a few parked cars below. Part of the roof also collapsed.

Heavy machinery arrived early Thursday to tear down what is left of the old Highland Grove Elementary School.

“McKeesport is trying to bring it back and they are tearing down a lot of stuff,” said McKeesport resident Jeff Holub. “But everyone has money crunches so what are you going to do?”

Holub said he attended the school and was a member of the last graduating class.

“In 1973, sixth grade. It was only an elementary school,” said Holub.

He said he’s sad to see it go, but said there’s no other choice.

“No you got to if you don’t want to get in trouble,” said Holub. “Another car could get hit or some little kid.”

Officials evacuated one couple who lived in the home next door on Wednesday night. There is no word yet on when the family will be allowed to return home.

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