Alton warehouse owner faces demolition if repairs not made

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 6:08 AM

(KMOV) -- The owner of a crumbling warehouse in Alton that caused a natural gas leak now has 30 days to arrange for repairs, or face demolition.

Firefighters responded Tuesday morning to the 600 block of Piasa Street, where a 40 feet by 40 feet section of the roof collapsed and ruptured a natural gas line.  No one was hurt in the collapse and the gas was shut off quickly.

City building inspector Michael Harvey said the structure needs to be torn down or repaired for safety reasons.  Harvey said prior to Tuesday’s collapse, city inspectors were not aware of any structural issues at the property because the owner had kept it locked up for several years.

“If there’s an issue with it and someone is using it for commercial use where people are coming in and out every day we are in there inspecting it,” said Harvey.

Arthur Towata has owned the property near downtown Alton for many years, and would not comment on the roof collapse or the future of the property. 

Harvey said Towata now has 30 days to start repairs on the building or the city will begin the process to have it demolished.

 

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