UPDATE: Building Demolition Becomes Close Call

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

JACKSON (WILX)-- Workers are trying to dismantle the former Consumers Energy building in downtown Jackson without causing it to collapse on an adjacent church and other nearby businesses.

A large piece of the old Consumers Energy building in Jackson fell Friday morning as crews attempted to bring the entire skeleton down. According the demolition crew, the remaining structure is unsound, and they're trying to bring it down safely.

This isn't the first problem the crew has had since they started demolishing the building earlier this year. The building has already had two fires this year, and Friday morning was another close call. When the debris threatend to fall, it was leaning towards a nearby church while someone was inside.

"The loudest crash I ever heard. It made everything shake, it made me shake," Dale Welihan, Secretary for First Congregational Church.

Welihan was working inside when the first part of the building came down. She thought then, that it had hit the church.

"I figured if I went out of my office it was going to be gone," said Welihan.

The two buildings are just over forty feet apart. Even though demolition has been going most of this year, Welihan say's she was never told that she could be in danger.

"I went outside and the workers asked me if I was in the church. When I said yes they told me that I needed to get out right away," said Welihan.

The building has been nothing but problems for Jackson Police and Fire.

"With the fires and now this, it's a drain on our resources. It's taxing for us, but also for the safety of the construction crew and the citizens," said Matthew Heins, Director of Jackson Police and Fire.

For Heins the sooner the building's brought down the better.

"We'll be very happy when this project is done," said Heins

We'll be keeping our eyes on this developing situation throughout the night. Watch News Ten at eleven for the very latest.


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