The rumble shook the neighborhood, rousing residents from their slumber and leading them to stumble to their doors and windows at 4:45 in the a.m. this past Thursday.
Even in the dark, residents could tell something was amiss with clay block warehouse that sits adjacent to Hungry Hollow Creek on Center Street. It’s shadowy outline had been depressed and morning’s light soon revealed that what had been standing just the night before had now caved in on itself.
Owned by the Granite Falls Hospital, the warehouse is used for storage of miscellaneous items that included an ambulance but was mostly comprised of used equipment and furniture from the hospital and nursing home. While damaged structurally, the ambulance’s engine remained intact and was able to be driven out from under the fallen structure.
Granite Falls Hospital Administrator and CEO George Gerlach said that the organization did possess insurance on the building and that a property adjuster had been out the afternoon following the collapse.
At this point, he said there was no definitive explanation as to the cause, although it was speculated that it was either the result of snow and ice build up or a mortar wall that had been slowly deteriorating before finally giving way.
Local contractor Baker Brothers Construction was brought in to complete the demolition and clear the debris from the site. As of now, Gerlach said it was unknown how the hospital would address any needs created by the situation going forward.