Tribune building in Fairfield collapses further
FAIRFIELD — Less than a week after its north wall was taken down, the Tribune Printing Company Building’s east wall collapsed at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, sending bricks and other debris onto North Main Street.
A chain-link fence was erected Friday, replacing the orange plastic fence that had been installed Tuesday afternoon when the north wall was demolished. The chain-link fence captured most of the debris when the building collapsed further Sunday, although some did fall outside the fence.
No damage to surrounding buildings was reported. Ila’s Restaurant was advised to stay closed for business Sunday.
Fairfield streets superintendent Darrel Bisgard said today his streets crew arrived on the scene early Sunday morning and closed North Main Street between the alley south of Revelations Café and the intersection with West Briggs Avenue. They were able to open the street later in the day.
Reggie Cox of Cox Carpentry, who has helped maintain the building for several years, received a phone call Sunday morning shortly after the building collapsed. He sent some of his employees to the scene to clean up the mess because he was out of town at the time.
“My son and the rest of the crew cleaned up all they could and got [the debris] behind the barrier,” he said. “Part of the barrier had fallen down by Ila’s Restaurant.”
Cox said he believed the main reason the building collapsed when it did was because of the rain and strong winds that hit Fairfield Saturday night. The building’s owner, Ross Walker, said he didn’t think the weather played a major role in the collapse and that it was just a matter of time before the whole thing would fall down.
“I’m sure the storm wasn’t the cause,” Walker said. “It was starting to go before the storm came in. Once one joist goes down, the rest follow. They’re like dominoes. Finally, the front part of the building decided to go down, too.”
Walker said he is still planning to meet with his insurance adjustor either today or Tuesday, just as he had planned before the east wall collapsed Sunday.
Cox said he was in the building today removing machinery and other valuables.
“We removed some copying machines and smaller office equipment from the two floors in the back of the building,” he said.
The Tribune building dates to 1914. It housed the Tribune Printing Company from 1980 until June 30, when Walker decided to close the business.