A vacant building in the Woodhaven section of Queens crumbled onto the street Friday night, and although no one was injured, there are lasting effects for the community overnight. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
A two-story building on the corner of 79th Street and Jamaica Avenue collapsed onto itself and the street Friday evening, crushing a car out front.
Fire officials say no one was injured when the vacant commercial building toppled over.
"We did a quick search inside," said Assistant Chief Edward Baggott of the New York City Fire Department. "We searched the rubble on the street. The [police department] did a canvas of the neighborhood, if we have anybody missing or they know of anybody in there. That has all turned out to be that really, the building is not occupied."
Atania Figueroa said the crushed car belonged to her uncle and aunt.
"He just parked his car to go upstairs real quick, and he was going to come right back down," Figueroa said. "When he comes back down, like, a whole brick wall is on his car."
"No, don't have [another] car," said Duvis Villa, whose family's car was crushed. "That's it. Only that."
Fire officials said the building, which has been vacant for four to five years, may have been used as a furniture store in the past.
While the Department of Buildings has not yet determined a cause for the collapse, records indicate that the site has several open violations.
There is also speculation that the day's weather may have played a role.
Joanne Joseph said she heard a big crash shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday. Then, she saw a flood of water.
"I noticed there was a lot of water coming out of the building, and coming out from underneath the floor from that door over there that they opened," Joseph said. "It was just, water, water, water, like if there was a pool up there and it was just emptying. It was so much water."
Joseph said the bad weather may have had one good consequence.
"Somebody could have easily just been walking with a child or something and got hurt," she said. "If the weather was nicer, you probably would have had more people outside."
J train service was suspended between Crescent and 121st Street for several hours. It has now resumed.
Officials said that while there's no danger to adjacent structures, it's still possible that the building could further collapse onto the street. So for now, they have closed off that portion of the road.