Columbus Thrift Shop looking for answers on status of collapsing - KOAM TV 7

Columbus Thrift Shop looking for answers on status of collapsing building


A fire that destroyed building in Columbus that has been vacant for years is now posing a danger to surrounding businesses. The danger has been so bad...that it caused one local business to relocate.

The  Office Bar and Grill sits idle along west pine street in Columbus, and it has for years. From the outside looking in, the building is boarded up, but inside, is another story.

"Something is going to have to be done because it's getting very dangerous." says Columbus Police Chief, Charles Sharp.

The inside of the building was destroyed by a grease fire back in 2006. At the time, crews believed only smoke damage affected the Methodist thrift shop next door. Years later, the shop is forced to move due to safety reasons that weren't originally discovered.

"We noticed in July that the roof of that building had collapsed. Well, we share a wall on the east side of that building, and it kind of pulled our wall away and made a little hole in our roof." says Francine Boulware, a member of the United Methodist Church in Columbus, and helper of the Thrift Shop the church operates.

She says they are looking for answers as to why proper inspections weren't done after the 2006 fire.

"Right now, nothings been done. We've gone a couple of times to the city council about this problem." Boulware says.

Although the Office Bar and Grill has not been formally condemned, city officials have put a perimeter around the entire scope of the building incase if the roof does collapse.

The price to condemn and demolish the building could cost the city thousands of dollars if engineers find it to be permanently unsafe. But right now there is little that can be done to determine why the building wasn't condemned in the first place.

"We're waiting on the owners of the other building and their insurance engineer to deal with the city engineer on how to take care of this problem." Chief Sharp says.

Boulware says she hopes once the problem is taken care of, The Thrift Shop can move back into its old location it used to call home.

"We would like to [move back]. It has enough room for us, and we do own that building." Boulware says.

The Thrift Shop will remain at it's current location along Pennsylvania Avenue until the inspection of the building takes place.


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