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Schenectady apartment building evacuated early Monday over foundation issue

Schenectady apartment building evacuated early Monday over foundation issue

A 10-foot section gave way due to erosion over time, fire officials believe
Schenectady apartment building evacuated early Monday over foundation issue
Schenectady firefighters respond to the Wade Estates after a section of foundation gave way early Monday
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY - A downtown Schenectady apartment building was evacuated early Monday after a section of its foundation gave way, fire officials said.

No one injuries were reported in the incident, but eight apartments remained evacuated into the morning. 

City building inspectors were expected to return to the scene today to further evaluate the damage, Deputy Fire Chief David Orr said.

The incident happened at about 1 am. at the Wade Estates, 15 Lafayette Street, at the complex’ Madison Building.

The call initially came in as a possible small explosion, but firefighters arrived and soon determined no explosion had occurred, Orr said.

Instead, a section of foundation about 10-feet wide had given way due to apparent ongoing erosion of the ground underneath the laundry room.

Photos: Scenes from Monday's call for foundation issues at Wade Estates, Oct. 29, 2018

Driers got knocked over in the process, pulling out a gas line, releasing gas into the building. Responding crews were able to shut the gas off, Orr said.

As many as 50 people were initially evacuated. It was unclear how many remained evacuated from the eight apartments impacted. The Red Cross was assisting.

As for why the section gave way, Orr said it appeared to be caused by rainwater.

“It looked like the water was draining through there just over time, and it caused it to give way,” Orr said.

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