Roof partially collapses on S. Main St building - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

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Roof partially collapses on S. Main St building

(Source: Paul Morris Twitter) (Source: Paul Morris Twitter)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Part of a building in the middle of a blight battle in downtown Memphis collapsed during Thursday’s storm.

The collapse in the 107 South Main building ruptured a sprinkler system, which sent a river of water flowing downward.

"It was as wide as the building behind me,” said real estate mogul Henry Turley.  “And it was sheeting off like Niagara."

Turley owns or manages the buildings on either side of the long-vacant problem property.

He showed us some of the standing water still inside his buildings hours later.

"Tourists were wading through the water on Main Street," said Turley.

Downtown Memphis Commission President Paul Morris tweeted about the damage soon after the collapse.

"This is the building the DMC took to court for blight, but court dismissed case,” wrote Morris.  “And city inspector said was safe."

Fire officials indicated that repair work was underway in the roof area when pooling water caused the collapse.

"I think the owner should be held accountable for maintaining the building, when it affects other property owners and other residents downtown,” said downtown worker Drayton Berkley.

Turley worried that years of neglect might result in a complete collapse, eventually. "Remember, one happened on this block,” said Turley.  “One happened
more recently on Madison, and we as a city need to deal with this thing."

Turley said his architect doesn't advise even standing in front of the empty building. 

Meanwhile, WMC Action News 5 was unable to reach the building's owner. 

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

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