A special rescue team will be entering a vacant Spring Street building to make sure nobody was inside when the roof collapsed on Thursday morning, officials said.
“There was one set of footprints in the back, so they want to take every precaution to make sure no homeless people were in the building,” Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said at lunchtime.
The collapse, in a former Lincoln Mercury dealership that is intended for demolition to become a CVS pharmacy, followed shortly after a roof collapse at another vacant structure at 35 Market St.
No injuries were reported there, either, but Market and Bank streets were closed to traffic while building owner Harry Simon searched for a structural engineer to determine whether whether it’s safe to open the streets.
Specially trained fire rescue teams from Newark, Hackensack, Elizabeth and Paterson were summoned to the Spring Street collapse.
Spring Street was closed to westbound traffic.
Deputy Fire Chief Jon Prachthauser said homeowners and business owners with flat roofs should have roofing specialists inspect their buildings to see if they can withstand this winter’s accumulation of heavy snow, ice and rain. Morris Township firefighters assisted Morristown firemen at the Spring Street scene.
The demolition of the former auto dealership at 116 Spring St. to make way for the new pharmacy has been held up for months by litigation.
A settlement of that case was supposed to be considered recently by town officials–but the meeting was snowed out.