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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

2 Critically Injured After Scaffolding Collapse In East Garfield Park

The debris covered the sidewalk and road and crashed on top of cars at the scene.

Chicago Police and Fire officials respond to a scaffolding collapse in the 3300 block of West Warren Boulevard in Garfield Park on Feb. 20, 2023.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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EAST GARFIELD PARK — Two people were critically hurt Monday after scaffolding collapsed from an East Garfield Park residential building, officials said

The collapse occurred in the 3300 block of West Warren Boulevard, fire department officials tweeted. The building is a three-story greystone.

The toppled debris could be seen along the sidewalk and road and on top of cars. Police also went to the scene.

Two people were hospitalized in critical condition, Fire Department officials said. No other information was immediately available.

Michael Puccinelli, spokesperson for the city’s buildings department, said in a statement the workers were doing masonry work on the building “when the front parapet wall failed and fell onto the scaffold, causing the scaffolding to collapse.”  

Building records show the owners received a permit Jan. 20 to replace a horizontal structural beam, do tuckpointing and “rebuild/reset” stones on the third floor.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Scaffolding collapsed onto the sidewalk, road and nearby cars.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Tiffany Smith, a neighbor who witnessed the incident, said she was working from home and heard a loud crash that sounded like an explosion, saw the men fall and heard screaming.

The injured men were construction workers, she said.

Smith said she saw the men working and scaling the building without safety harnesses before the crash.

“It was just horrible,” Smith said.

Work on nearby buildings is inevitable and necessary as some were built in the late 19th century, Smith said. Her building also received some repairs in August, Smith said.

A demolition contractor from the city went to the Warren Avenue home to help clear the area of any loose masonry, take apart the remaining scaffolding and stabilize the exterior masonry wall, Puccinelli said.

“The property owner will be required to retain a licensed structural engineer who must submit a report to [the department of buildings]. The owner must also obtain required permits to restore the building. That restoration work will then have to be verified in subsequent [department of buildings] inspections,” Puccinelli said.

Property tax records show the building is owned by Historic Homes, a company that restores older homes and affordably housing projects in Logan Square, East Garfield Park and Gold Coast, according to its website. The company’s president, R. Jovita Barber, declined comment when reached by phone.

City officials said they will cooperate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in any investigations into the accident.

The collapse occurred about a half-mile from where a stone porch collapsed at a three-flat, killing one person and injuring two others in April.

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