Officials Probing Roof Collapse At Ansonia Building
by Ethan Fry | Feb 17, 2017 11:47 am
Posted to: Ansonia
Update 3 p.m.: In a letter sent Friday afternoon to the owner of 35 N. Main St., Ansonia Chief Building Inspector Nick Behun ordered the owner of the property to demolish the building.
Behun’s letter to Pandel Properties said the building “has sustained heavy damage due to partial collapse and is a severe health and safety concern.”
“You are being ORDERED TO DEMOLISH THIS STRUCTURE IMMEDIATELY,” Behun wrote.
John Marini, the city’s corporation counsel, said Pandel was in the process of obtaining a demolition permit Friday afternoon.
He said the company has 10 days to submit a demolition plan before the city takes further legal action.
Original post follows below.
Firefighters were called to a blighted former factory in downtown Ansonia Thursday after part of its roof collapsed.
There were no injuries.
Ansonia Fire Chief Edward Adamowski said the incident occurred about 4 p.m.
The building’s address is 35 N. Main St., a 3.5-acre property owned by Pandel Properties.
Roughly 30 firefighters responded, Adamowski said.
The chief said a worker told firefighters he had raised a boom on a machine and accidentally hit a roof beam, which caused part of the roof to come down.
Adamowski estimated the section of the roof that collapsed was roughly 150 feet by 50 feet.
Firefighters blocked off the building for about two hours as city building officials responded, and also notified utility companies to make sure there was no power or gas going into the building.
City, State Investigating
The building’s owner, Pandel Properties, is a limited liability company controlled by Woodbridge resident Angela Pantalone, according to city records.
The Valley Indy left messages Friday morning with Pantalone and a lawyer representing the company.
The property was sold to Pandel in 2000 by the SHW Corporation for $60,000, according to property records at City Hall.
It sits between the former Farrel Corp. and Ansonia Copper & Brass properties, two sprawling former industrial sites downtown, and across Main Street from the Eagle Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 6.
The property was part of the Farrel Corp.‘s holdings years ago.
John Marini, the city’s corporation counsel, said the property’s owner had been thinking about selling it to the city but was hesitant to pay for an environmental assessment.
Ansonia Blight Officer David Blackwell Sr. filed a $15,825-per-day blight lien against the property in November 2014.
Marini said city officials became concerned recently that demolition work was being done at the property without a permit.
Blackwell inspected the property last month and deemed it unsafe, according to a letter he sent to Pantalone Jan. 11.
“On January 10, 2017 an inspection was done and it was determined that the building had been undergoing demolition work being done in an unsafe manner without the benefit of a demolition permit,” Blackwell wrote. “The building has been posted with a STOP WORK ORDER and UNSAFE TO OCCUPY ORDER.”
On Jan. 24 Pantalone sent a letter to the city appealing Blackwell’s orders.
Ronda Porrini, the city’s land use administrator, said the matter was scheduled to be addressed at the March meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Marini said the company’s lawyer had assured city officials that workers were only removing equipment from the building, not demolishing the building itself.
“From the collapse it looks like that wasn’t the case,” Marini said. “Thankfully no one was hurt.”
Blackwell and state building officials planned to do a more thorough inspection of the site Friday.
“It’s possible we may condemn it,” Marini said. “It’s possible we may order it demolished.”