Building in Boston's Chinatown Deemed Unsafe

(NECN: Jennifer Eagan) - A group of people forced to leave this Chinatown apartment building last night returned this morning, hoping to get back inside and gather up more of their belongings.

Boston police say they will not be allowed in because the building along Harrison Ave is considered unsafe.

Yesterday, firefighters found supportive columns in the basement had been removed.

"May I point out there are heavy trucks that go by and an underground subway here," said Deputy Chief Steve Dunbar of the Boston Fire Department. "This street is subject to a lot of vibrations. We don't think it's in imminent danger of collapsing. But if we get a heavy snow load or rain, it could come down."

Firefighters came to the building in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood late yesterday afternoon to investigate a report of an alarm.

That's when they found the supports were missing, although why or when they were taken out is still unclear.

Fire officials say the owner is a man from Worcester. He will have to hire engineers to go over the fire alarm system and check the structural integrity of the building.

"We found the fire protection system doesn't appear to be working and hasn't been inspected for some time," said Dunbar. "There were a number of building code violations throughout."

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