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Debris falls from E. 4th street building

Posted: 6:53 PM, Dec 03, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-03 18:53:30-05

For the second time this year, debris fell several stories from the facade of a building in downtown Cleveland to the sidewalk below. 

Building renters told newsnet5.com that the latest incident happened late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning at a building on the corner of East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue.

No pedestrians were injured. 

newsnet5.com crews captured the damage early Thursday morning. Wood and metal from the exterior frame of a window appear to have fallen from a condominium building about six stories above. 

A city spokesman told newsnet5.com that Building and Housing inspectors responded to the scene and as of Thursday afternoon were still preparing an engineering report. 

The spokesman said that Building and Housing Director Ron O’Leary would not be available for interviews until the completion and review of that report. 

The incident comes nearly eight months after bricks and mortar from a building facade on E. 6th Street and Euclid Avenue came crashing down onto a sidewalk and a minivan on April 13. 

Councilman Joe Cimperman said Thursday’s incident makes two strikes too many. 

“We’re an older city, we’re a busier city,  we’re a more redeveloping city,” Cimperman said Thursday. “We can’t let this stuff happen.”

After April’s incident, Cimperman proposed legislation that would require mandatory facade inspections for buildings of a certain height. 

According to newsnet5.com’s research, cities like Columbus, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Milwaukee already have similar inspection requirements in place.

Cimperman said it took several months to draft the complicated legislation, which could be ready for introduction as soon as Monday’s meeting. 

Cimperman acknowledged that the inspections will come at a significant cost to building owners. The city estimates between $2,500 and $10,000 depending on the size of the building. 

But Cimperman told newsnet5.com that accident scenes like the one on East 4th justify the cost. 

“It’s a lot less expensive to do something before something tragic happens than afterwards,” he said, noting that mandatory inspections could have a positive impact on insurance costs. 

Cimperman said the legislation could affect thousands of buildings in Cleveland and inspections would be required for all buildings within 24 months of the bill’s passage. 

The majority of residents on East 4th told newsnet5.com they agreed with the proposed inspection requirements. 

“Oh it’s absolutely justified when it comes to health and safety,” said Russell Hoban, a consultant who manages several properties nearby. 

Cimperman said the legislation will likely be introduced no later than the first meeting in January. 

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