Red Cross helps families after building collapse

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) – After a building partially collapsed in Camp Hill on Friday, the Red Cross worked with families who lost their homes.

Officials still don’t know what caused the collapse.

“It was a really strong blow,” said Ellesse Krall, who was visiting family in Camp Hill on Friday.

Krall described a dramatic scene after the apartment building in the 1400 block of Market Street collapsed.

“Oh my God, the roof collapsed and bricks were falling from one of the houses,” she said.

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Five days later, three families still cannot return home, including six adults and three children.

Laura Burke is executive director of the American Red Cross Central Chapter in Pennsylvania. She said they are still working with these families.

“Usually the top priority is really that longer-term housing solution,” Burke said.

While every case is different, she said volunteers try to take care of the families’ mental health…

“When you encounter an emergency, it’s a really big shock to your system,” Burke said.

They also help with more practical issues, like taking care of utilities.

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“Individuals don’t think, ‘Oh, I have to do these three things after the disaster, they’re still trying to process what happened,’” Burke said.

According to Camp Hill zoning officer Colton Weichman, three of the building’s six units have been condemned. An engineer’s report will recommend if they should be demolished or if they can be rebuilt.

“I’m not sure if [families] were able to salvage anything due to the instability of the structure itself,” Burke said.

Other families were able to return home.

“It could have been a total meltdown and you could have trapped people,” Cumberland County spokesman John Breutsch said. “It could be much worse.”

Officials said the cause of the collapse is still unknown.

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