PD to stop possible looters after partial building collapse - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police called to stop potential looters after partial building collapse in Meriden

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of families were displaced from an apartment building in Meriden on Wednesday morning after a partial wall collapsed.

City officials said 82 East Main St. was secured and condemned.

People who lived in the building told Eyewitness News that they were told to leave and only some were allowed to return to retrieve belongings.

"Around 8:30 the fire department came and started knocking on doors," said Adela Torres, who was a tenant, "telling us to get out and we had no choice but to wrap up babies and go."

Firefighters said everyone made it out safely and no injuries were reported. City officials said it was a wall in the rear of the building that collapsed.

The building had 18 apartments that were occupied with between 50 and 60 people, according to fire officials. There were a few businesses on the first floor as well.

Now many families said they have been displaced.

"They keep saying everything is being fixed, this is being redone," said Ramona Torres, who was also forced out of her apartment.

The people displaced by the collapse are being assisted by the city and have been given emergency shelter at this time. It could take weeks before the people are allowed back in their homes, city officials said.

City officials secured the area with a fence to prevent any more damage and to contain debris.

On Wednesday evening, police were stationed at the apartment complex to prevent any potential looters. Eyewitness News saw two men being questioned, and at least one person was taken away on trespassing charges.

Police were expected to be at the apartment building overnight.

The building was inspected in December, but the fire chief said the city did not believe at that time that the building was unsafe.

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