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'Kinda felt like an earthquake' — Residents asked to leave Lakewood apartment tower after adjacent underground garage collapses

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Posted at 10:34 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 14:08:33-05

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Structural engineers and fire officials are investigating the collapse of a two-story underground parking garage at an apartment complex on Edgewater Drive.

Lakewood police and fire responded to 12540 Edgewater Drive at Marine Towers West for a report of an underground garage parking attached to the apartment building that has collapsed.

Residents in Marine Towers West, which is the adjacent building next to the collapsed garage, were asked to leave their residences for a minimum of 24 hours as authorities investigate the collapse.

The exact number of residents being displaced is to be determined as some were at work, authorities said.

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Image of a parking garage collapse on Edgewater Drive.

Lakewood Fire Chief Tim Dunphy said that based on video reviewed of the parking garage entrance, no one was in the garage at the time of the collapse. There are no reported injuries at this time.

There were vehicles inside the garage. The exact number is to be determined, Dunphy said.

Watch an update from Dunphy in the media player below:

Fire official speaking after parking garage collapses on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood.

"Fairly sizable collapse of what we call a pancake collapse. The upper deck collapsed onto the first-floor deck and subsequently, sections of the first floor came down," he said.

Witnesses say they heard a loud boom and then felt everything shake. The garage is between Marine Towers West and Marine Towers East.

Video taken by a resident in the East tower shows the damage caused by the collapse.

Emergency crews on scene of parking garage collapse on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood

One woman who lives in the building adjacent to the collapsed parking garage said it felt like an earthquake.

"I looked out the window and saw everyone running around and hearing people saying 911 so I ran,” she said.

Another resident who spoke to News 5 said he is going to his parent's house in Akron a day earlier.

"Happy to be alive. It sounded like a huge gust of wind. Like an explosion of air. I knew something happened," he said.

For one resident, at first, he didn't think anything of it as it usually gets pretty windy on the upper floors of the Marine West Tower.

"It felt kinda like an earthquake. I didn’t think anything of it because it gets pretty windy. I actually found out from a buddy who texted me a story online and a picture of it. So I thought I better go and investigate it," he said.

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Partial garage collapse on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood.

A map from Google shows the underground parking garage with a grass-covered roof.

According to county records, the building was built in the early 1960s and consists of 171 apartments.
Residents were cleared to return to their homes Friday afternoon.

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