Carroll Gardens Building Collapse Displaces Residents

Portions of a three-story brownstone building in Brooklyn collapsed early Monday morning, but residents escaped without injury.

About half of the eastern wall of 241 Carroll Street came down, exposing the interior of the handsome four-story brownstone like a dollhouse. The gash extended from roof-to-ground, and included much of the home’s south wall as well.

About 40 feet in the air, a single potted plant still stood on a table, just inches from where the brick work had fallen away.

The collapse happened at around 1:30 a.m. Monday in the borough's Carroll Gardens neighborhood. About six building residents were unable to return to their apartments and found other places to stay.

Police say work had previously been done in the building and that city building inspectors are investigating.

Dominic Costagliola grew up four homes down from the damaged building, in another brownstone where his elderly parents still live. He said they were awakened by the collapse.

“They said they just heard a rumbling noise and then it sounded like a bomb went off when everything fell,” Costagliola said.

His parents remain in their home.

Costagliola recalled that decades earlier, several row houses near Hicks Street collapsed as a result of sewer work that destabilized the foundations. But he said incidents like what happened at 241 Carroll Street are unusual.

Costagliola is hopeful his parents’ home won’t be affected.

"It all depends what happens when they take the house down, how much damage there is,” he said. “And hopefully the adjacent walls hold up. They should be alright.”

Day camps that use the adjacent PS 58 school building in Carroll Gardens were barred from the building on Monday, while emergency response crews inspected the damage.

Joan Bredthauer, parent coordinator at PS 58, went to the scene as soon as she heard the news.

“I rang the doorbell because I thought maybe they'd let me in to work but they said I wasn't allowed in the building. I mean I'd seen what I saw on the television - the crumbling here and all of that,” Bredthauer said.

With the school building closed, camp counselors took dozens of kids to Carroll Park, park across the street.

The fallen walls of 241 Carroll Street are close to PS 58’s gymnasium, with only a single-car driveway separating the two buildings.

The driveway is now filled with bricks and rubble.

With the Associated Press