Newark Building Collapse Sends Bricks, Debris Cascading Onto Street

A building collapse in Newark sent bricks, wood and debris raining down onto the street, just feet from pedestrians, officials and witnesses say. 

It's not clear what caused the collapse on the top floor of the city-owned building on 15th Avenue and South 8th Street Tuesday. Neighbors say they heard a thunderous noise before the bricks came cascading down, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the boarded-up building and the roof splintered. 

Na'im Lee said he was parking his car when the collapse happened just feet away from a little girl playing in the street. 

"When we realized the building was about to go, all I could think about was that little girl, and I was just thinking -- I just hope she's not under that rubble," he said.

It turned out the girl was safe, and Newark fire crews who searched the debris didn't find anyone inside. Newark Fire Chief John Centinni said the department received some reports of minor injuries of passersby that possibly got hit by some debris. 

Authorities are looking into a cause. Neighbor Maria Acosta thinks rain may have played a role.

"A lot of rain this week -- probably that's what happened," she said. 

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