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PHOTOS: Families Relocated From Leonia Building In Danger Of Collapse

Closeup shows bowing rear wall. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Leonia PD
The rear of the Grand Avenue building bowed six inches, the mayor said. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Leonia Fire Dept. Co. 1
Police blocked the entrances. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Leonia PD

LEONIA, N.J. -- Nine families were relocated Saturday after a rear brick wall of a Leonia condo development bowed about six inches.

"This has been going on for some time," Mayor Judah Zeigler told Daily Voice. "The condo association got a report a couple of weeks ago saying remediation was immediately required."

"They were in the process of getting bids for the work" when police got a call this morning of the conditions at the building off the corner of Grand Avenue and Christie Heights Street, the mayor said.

Firefighters responded with police and the borough engineer, who deemed the building unsafe, he said.

Gas and electric was turned off to all 10 units (one of them vacant) and arrangements were immediately made for the occupants

Eight of the families needed emergency housing and were relocated to area hotels, Zeigler said. The ninth was on vacation, he said.

The condo association will be reimbursed by its insurance company, the mayor said.

Authorities cordoned off the building and put up signs telling residents who were away for the weekend or longer to go to the police department.

Officers were escorting them to their apartments "to retrieve medication, clothing, electronics -- whatever they need to make this time for them as comfortable as possible," the mayor said.

The Red Cross remained on standby, while Ziegler told the condo association to call him immediately if anything is needed.

"This is going to take at least a few days," he said.

"It's unfortunate that it wasn't taken care of right away -- this could have been avoided," the mayor told Daily Voice. "But fortunately not one was injured, and all of the families have a place to stay."

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