Brick facade collapses, forces people out of their Lexington home

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- After a brick wall on his building collapsed, a Lexington landlord says he hopes to get tenants back inside by Thursday morning.

The brick facade fell before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Bluegrass Avenue and North Limestone.

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The landlord thinks poor construction is to blame.

James Estepp says he hasn’t altered the brick since he bought the building 20 years ago.

He says he’s never had problems with it so he was surprised, as was his neighbor, Junior Carty.

“Got up and looked out and there was lights everywhere,” Carty said.

Estepp thinks brick ties, or lack thereof, are to blame. There are ties missing where the wall came down right near utility measuring equipment.

“I’d say the weight of the electric there, just the pull of it, eventually pulled it out,” Estepp said.

With it, two tenants were pulled out of their home. Estepp says city engineers have deemed the building structurally sound, but he’s putting his renters up in a motel until the power is back on.

In the meantime, Carty is trying to use a drop cord to power the refrigerator for the people he calls “the best neighbors he’s ever had”.

“The greatest. I hope they live there until they die they’re so good,” Carty laughed.

Estepp hopes to get them back home Thursday morning. His excavating crew has been tearing down the rest of the wall. He has no idea what it’ll cost him, but he’s not worried.

He says once he confers with his insurance company, he’ll rebuild, but not with brick. This time he thinks he’ll go with a simpler stud and metal approach.

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!