PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s demolition day for a historic building on Pittsburgh’s South Side after it went up in flames.
Because of the partial collapse and all of the damage and destruction to the building, crews began bringing down what’s left around 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Work will continue into Wednesday as crews are safely taking down the building.
Crews are working to dismantle this historic south side building that caught on fire yesterday. There’s plenty of people around who say they hate to see it go. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/1qF3Rxceda
— Bryant Reed (@Reed_Reports) February 9, 2021
“It’s irreplaceable. You can’t recreate 140 years of history,” District 3 City Councilman Bruce Kraus said.
He said the building at the corner of 11th Street and East Carson Street dates back to 1874. Naturally, being on East Carson Street, it was a bar at one time.
“But it was many other things,” Kraus said. “It served as a restaurant. It was a speakeasy during prohibition.”
When the city was going through a revitalization of East Carson Street, it served as an anchor for that change.
“(It) speaks to who we were at one time and that’s why they’re so very important,” Kraus said.
The massive fire started around 3 p.m. Monday. Smoke could be seen from many neighborhoods around the city as flames shot out of the roof of the building.
As the fire got under control, firefighters made their way out of the building. Just after 4 p.m., part of the building collapsed.
The more than century-old building had been restored with six apartments and two businesses — a barbershop and the South Side Chamber of Commerce.
Fire crews say no one was injured in the blaze.
“We just nearly bought everything, clothes, everything in there. This is all we have,” said Willis Hurt.
“I worked so hard for everything. I’ve been here a month. I lost everything,” Evan Russell said.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army are helping the eight people who have been left without a home.
East Carson Street is currently closed in the area around the building. It’s blocked off from 13th Street to 10th Street.
Kraus tells KDKA that it will be more of a disassembling process than a demolition. He said it’s fortunate more of the building didn’t come down Monday or overnight. Fire crews and police were on watch.
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“Making sure nothing else happens to anyone. God forbid. And making sure the disassembly happens in an orderly fashion,” the councilman said.
Christy Fowler, who works at 10th Street Tattoo Shop, said she was driving into work when she noticed the flames. After 15 years of working in the area, it was one of her favorite buildings and a community staple.
“It’s a shame to see that building gone because it was a big beautiful part of the street,” said Fowler.
Right now, there is no word on what could go into its spot.