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Building collapse in Oriskany : "It sounded like an earthquake"

Former Waterbury & Son Felt Company building collapses in Oriskany.

Posted: Feb. 17, 2018 3:11 PM
Updated: Feb. 17, 2018 8:36 PM

Oriskany, N.Y. - A bartender at the longstanding Stockdale's Bar & Grill on River St. in Oriskany was still on duty around 1:15 A.M. Saturday morning when she says she heard a sound she never heard before.

Coworker Carrie Moulton told News Channel 2 what the bartender told her, "She was here, she was getting ready to close up and it sounded like an earthquake, and I went on for about 10 seconds."

The old Waterbury & Son Felt Company building came crashing down.

Oriskany Fire Chief Jeff Burkhart says the collapse is under investigation, but it appears the roof gave way in the middle of the night.

Once daylight came, many long-time Oriskany residents came down to River St. to check things out, including Pat Lasher, "It was a shock to see. A building in decent shape but apparently the roof has been leaking and there are a few trees that had grown up on top of it. Over the years when you don’t have heat or anything in it, it does collapse."

A developer named James Kernan owns the group of buildings, and his site manager Fred Davis told News Channel 2 there were no plans for the former Waterbury & Son Felt Company building, "This was a spot that we were trying to figure out what we’re going to do with and nature decided what we’re going to do with that I guess."

A job and career center is being built in one of the buildings Kernan owns and now Davis says this former Waterbury building will soon be torn down and the space will become a parking lot, "We’re going to push these walls down and then hopefully next week we'll contact somebody and they’ll go in and clean it right down to the floor."

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