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Top Floors Of Seven-Story Poughkeepsie Building To Be Demolished

Video Credit: Jason Brodbeck
A shot of the devastation caused by the building collapse. A shot of the devastation caused by the building collapse.
A shot of the devastation caused by the building collapse. Photo Credit: Bill Johnson

The top three floors of the seven-story Poughkeepsie building that collapsed on Monday, trapping two people, will be demolished, according to city officials.

"The engineers and contractor are assessing what materials they will be safely removing to prevent further collapse," said City of Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Mark Johnson.

During the collapse around 4 p.m. Monday, the larger building at 19 Academy St., fell onto another building at 17 Academy St., and then onto a smaller three-story building at 15 Academy St., causing it to collapse as well, Det. Sgt. Sean Fitzgerald.

Two people were trapped inside 15 Academy St., taking firefighters and rescue personnel hours to remove. The last victim, Rotanya Hargrove was alert and conscious when she was rescued at about 8 p.m., nearly four hours after the fall. 

She suffered non-life threatening injuries.

"The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department and Mutual Aid partners performed flawlessly in rescuing a trapped person under the most dangerous conditions show the true professionalism of our profession," said Johnson.

The decision was made to remove the top floors to prevent future damage and to help assess what condition the other buildings are in, officials said. 

City officials believe a storm, which had wind gusts exceeding 60 mph, caused the building to collapse.

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