4 hurt in wall collapse in downtown West Palm

Posted at 1:13 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 13:14:37-05

Fire Rescue said a wall collapsed Thursday morning in downtown West Palm Beach and fell onto an adjacent law firm.

RELATED: Photos from the scene

Officials said a 200-foot section of the side of Alexander Lofts, located at 320 Fern St., fell onto the roof of the William W. Price law firm.

Four people from the law office were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

The area is between Dixie Highway and Olive Avenue.

Part of a mural on the side of the 90-year-old building gave way, causing hundreds of bricks to fall onto the road and law office.

“It was a very loud concussion-type noise, and it was a rolling barrage of bricks that came pouring down on top of the building,” said George, an attorney who works nearby. “The roof of the (law) building has been compromised.”

Two bathrooms that have skylights over them at the law office were breached by the collapse and caused a cave-in at several locations.  Photos from inside the law office show substantial damage.

Residents of the lofts have been told by officials they cannot go back inside until engineers determine the building is structurally safe.  Members of the Red Cross are also heading to the scene.

"We are working with local professionals and building officials to determine the cause of the issue.  The safety of our residents and pedestrians is our top priority, and we're taking all necessary measures," Ram Realty services, which owns the building, said a written statement statement.

Fire crews shut down construction that was occurring across the street for the rest of the day.  Workers at the law office said their building often vibrates.  It's unclear if the nearby construction caused Thursday's wall collapse.

The city of West Palm Beach said a news conference will be held at 2 p.m. regarding the incident.