North End

One Week After North End Roof Collapse, Residents Still in Limbo

City building officials say the building at 43 Fleet St. has been condemned. Residents of the neighboring buildings are still waiting to hear when they might be allowed back inside

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One week after a roof collapse at building Boston’s North End, residents who live in buildings nearby are still not being allowed back inside. 

The partial collapse happened at 43 Fleet St., which is a building that was already vacant. However, it is connected to three other buildings that are occupied and crews had to evacuate all of them.  

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When they were first told to get out, residents were told to pack a bag for a few days. One week later, they tell NBC 10 Boston they are still in the dark as to when they will able to go back to their homes. 

“The hardship has been the not knowing and the uncertainty,” resident Rachel Bieling said. 

Bieling has been living with her mom for the last week.  She said at the very least she and her roommate want to be able to retrieve more of their belongings from their apartment.

Some tenants in Boston's North End had to scramble out into the snow Thursday after part of their roof collapsed.

“I grabbed just enough stuff, but I definitely need to go back because my whole life is there,” Bieling said. 

The owner of the building that collapsed did not answer any questions when reached by phone Thursday. The commissioner for Boston Inspectional Services said the building has been condemned. 

“It’s coming down. There’s no hope for that,” commissioner Sean Lydon said.

Lydon said the staging for that will start this weekend. The city will not be able to assess the safety of the other buildings until after that process is complete. He said he cannot give out a specific timeline for when residents can return, but they are working as fast as they can.

“It’s not a safe situation right now. Until we make the assessment, I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Lydon said. 

Lydon said if there is any lesson to be learned, it is for property owners to maintain their buildings. He said the water had been collecting on the roof for quite some time before last week’s collapse.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the city of Boston said:

“The City's Office of Neighborhood Services is in daily contact with all of the displaced residents from Fleet Street, and has helped them connect to temporary shelter and with daily tasks, such as transportation to appointments. The City is committed to ensuring the impacted buildings are safe before residents are let back in."

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