Contractor didn't have permit to remove wall before partial collapse

MADISON (WKOW) — City of Madison officials tell 27 News the contractor working on an apartment building that partially-collapsed Monday never obtained the proper permits before starting work.

The drywall contractor who came in toremove a load-bearing wallfrom the basement of an apartment building on McKenna Boulevard did not file for a permit to do the work, according to officials, who say the contractor has done work in the city of Madison before.

According to Madison Fire Department, the load-bearing wall’s removal caused the floor to partially collapse.

A womannearly fell through the floorof her apartment when it happened.

City officials tell 27 News the primary concern right now is getting the building stabilized, so people who live there can move back in.

The building’s owner is bringing in an architect and engineer to evaluate the damage and come up with a plan to resolve the issues. The city will review that plan and issue a permit before work begins again.

No one can stay in the apartment right now. Those immediately surrounding the partial collapse will be out for a significant period of time, but it is possible people who live in other parts of the building may be able to return sooner if experts can determine there are portions of the building that are not in danger of collapse.

27 News reached out to the company that owns the apartment building. A spokesperson says they will be releasing a statement about the incident at a later time.

The Chicago-based management company, RMK Management, was at the complex Tuesday along with engineers and a security team.

A spokesperson for RMK tells 27 News a new contractor, Engineered Construction, has taken over repairs on the building. The engineers hope to get the damage fixed by Wednesday and get apartment residents back in as soon as possible.

RMK says the initial contractor, Meyer Painting & Drywall, was working on a painting and drywall project to set up a new, community room in the basement. The contractor would have been responsible for obtaining the city permit to do the work.

RMK says the first priority right now is the safety of the apartment building and its occupants.

There are two apartment units damaged right now. No one was hurt in the incident.

More at WKOW 27 News

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