Building partially collapses in Davenport, Iowa; potential injuries not immediately known

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Part of a building collapsed in the eastern Iowa town of Davenport on Sunday night. It was not immediately clear if there were any injuries or deaths, or if anyone was trapped.

Davenport Police Department asked people to avoid downtown after the Main Street red brick building collapsed. The department said on its Facebook page that a nearby church was being used as an assembly point.

The cause of the collapse around 5 p.m. was not immediately known.

The Quad-City Times reported that Robert Robinson, who lived on the building’s second floor, went out for a cigarette break and returned when the alarms went off.

“When we started to come back, the lights went out,” he told the newspaper. “All of a sudden everyone started running saying the building had collapsed. I’m glad we got down when we did.

Robinson and his girlfriend were able to get off the elevator just in time, he said.

“It’s awful,” he said. “We have nowhere to go. Nothing to eat.”

Tadd Machovec, a Davenport contractor, said he was inside working on a support beam when the building collapsed.

Some people in the area said the building had had problems.

Jennifer Smith, co-owner of Fourth Street Nutrition, said she learned about the explosion from her husband, who works for Mid-American Energy.

“He was on duty and was called for a building explosion downtown. We had no idea it was our building,” she said. “It sounds bad, but we’ve been calling the city and filing complaints since December. Our bathroom collapsed in December.

Smith said the water damage had been apparent since they moved into their space in the winter. Company co-owner Deonte Mack said fire crews were at the building as recently as Thursday for an inspection.

“Tenants told us the building was going to collapse,” Smith said.

The Quad-City Times reported that the building is owned by Andrew Wold. A working phone number for Wold was not immediately available Sunday evening and attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

According to the county assessor’s office, the last permit for the building was filed on March 2 and included “miscellaneous” in the description. In 2022, nearly 20 permits were filed, mostly for plumbing or electrical issues.

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