Demolition Underway at Historic Hartford Building - NECN


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Demolition Underway at Historic Hartford Building

Vacant Hartford Building Being Torn Down

On Friday morning, crews began tearing down an abandoned Hartford apartment building that was the site of a massive fire Thursday after it was found to be at risk for collapse. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

An abandoned historic building on Main Street in Hartford is being torn down today after a massive fire on Thursday morning.

The fire that broke out early yesterday left 1363 Main Street, a building built in the 1890s, structurally unsound and city officials decided it was in risk of collapsing, so heavy equipment was brought in and the building is coming down.

During demolition, only one side of Main Street street is open, with one lane going in each direction.

Kenneth Onalty, 46, was rescued from the building yesterday and brought him to Saint Francis Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Police later arrested him in connection with the blaze.

He admitted to "squatting" inside the abandoned building for two months and burning a paper bag inside to stay warm, police said. He has been charged with third-degree trespassing and reckless burning, police said.

Firefighters spent three hours battling the blaze, allowing fire to burn through the roof instead of sending firefighters inside. They then fought the flames from above.

South Windsor-based company Environmental Services, Inc. is demolishing the building and crews are expected to remain in the area over the next week to clean up the site. applied for a permit for emergency demolition.