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Staging, Wall Collapse In Downtown Eastport, No Injuries - Apr. 11, 2013

EASTPORT, Maine - (WQDY NEWS) There were no injuries Thursday morning when staging and a brick wall collapsed in downtown Eastport.

The facade of the the Holmes Building fell taking scaffolding with it.

The structure is located on Water Street opposite the Fisherman Statue on Water Street at the corner of Furniture Ave.

Photo courtesy of Robert Scott

The building was purchased last year by the The Tides Institute & Museum of Art.

The building is a two unit, two story brick structure built in 1887 and designed by architect, Henry N. Black, the same architect who designed the nearby Tides Institute building in Bank Square.

A section of Water Street was closed to traffic for most of Thursday as utility crews dealt with downed wires and poles. Other casualties included a street lamp and a pickup truck which was struck by a felled telephone pole.

The Tides Museum and Institute of Art recently posted this information about the project on their Facebook page:

"Nearly half of the severely damaged front brick exterior facade of our StudioWorks building has now been completely dismantled  As one of the mason's told us yesterday, "There's nothing between these bricks, but dust!" They were literally pulling the bricks out of the wall by hand. The wall will be completely rebuilt and restored," the Facebook posting said.

Scene on Water Street in downtown Eastport Thursday morning-Photo courtesy of Robert Scott

Eastport resident Ricky Camick had just left a business a few doors from the Holmes building when he heard "crashing and banging."

"One guy jumped from the scaffold and another rode it down," Camick told WQDY NEWS."I ran right past my pickup truck, thinking this is going to be bad," he said.

Camick's truck was across the street in the municipal parking lot and otherwise unharmed but because of the downed wires he had to leave it parked there. 

ABOVE: Scene across from the Fisherman statue-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

Equipment and services provided by Bangor Hydro, FairPoint Communications and Time Warner Cable were affected in the downtown.

ABOVE: Workers begin cleanup-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

Hugh French, director of the Tides Institute, surveyed the scene Thursday afternoon.

"They're going to take the scaffolding down and the rest of the brick and then they'll rebuild it using most of the original brick. Keep moving forward," French told WQDY NEWS. "It's a temporary setback but we'll get it back together."

ABOVE: Worker cuts through fallen scaffolding-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

The brick section that fell was either going to be taken down or rebuilt.

"It's not that big of a change in plans," French added.

Unfortunately, it was his pickup truck that was hit by a falling telephone pole.

Smeaton said after he parked the truck on Water Street Thursday morning -- he thought maybe he should move it to the lot in front of the Fisherman statue.

ABOVE: Pole rests on Alex Smeaton's pickup truck-Photo courtesy of Robert Scott

"But I was there, and I just decided to keep it there. You never know," he said.

The collapse happened between 8:15 and 8:30 Thursday morning.

"It all came down," Smeaton said.

"It was a huge bang and then I looked out the window and noticed there was a power pole in the roof of my truck. There you go." 

ON FRIDAY...the staging was gone  ...




The Fisherman statue is reflected in this plate glass window on the first floor of the Holmes building. It was unscathed by the falling bricks and staging Thursday morning.-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

STORY: Tom McLaughlin WQDY-WALZ  
PHOTOS as credited