Ferry building collapses

MARTINS FERRY – A portion of a vacant building at 412 and 416 Hanover St. suddenly collapsed late Tuesday night.

According to reports, Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department received a call at approximately 10:20 p.m. that a building had collapsed in the rear of the 400 block of Hanover St.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, a section of the building, including bricks and wood, had fallen into the back parking lot. The building has been vacant for some time.

The structure is adjacent to the Dutch Henry, 418 Hanover St., but John Nagel, owner of the Dutch Henry but not the building, said the owner of the building is Dale Featheringham, of Featheringham Realty in Wintersville.

When asked Wednesday morning if the fallen building would affect his business, Nagel replied, “I don’t really know yet.”

Calls to Featheringham Realty were not returned. A woman answering the phone said she would pass the message along.

Signs in the front window of the collapsed building show that Shelley’s Trinkets and Treasures was once located in the building.

Dorothy Powell, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, said the building has been vacant for at least 10 years.

The three-story structure dates back to 1892.

City Code Administrator Betty Suto said there has never been any complaint about the building’s condition.

“We’re thinking the roof was bad, and with the heavy rains, there was too much water damage,” Suto said.

No one was injured, but the area is blocked off with yellow police tape. The alley adjacent to the building is also closed until a determination can be made as what to do with the building. American Electric Power was contacted to shut off the power to the building.

No cause of the collapse has been determined, but a demolition crew was inspecting the site to determine if there are factors such as asbestos that might complicate efforts to tear it down.

An investigation is continuing.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com