Crews prepare for demolition Saturday morning of collapsed building in Hartford

HARTFORD - After Thursday's scary building in collapse on Park Street, workers have been getting ready to demolish it this weekend and until the work is done, Park Street will be closed.

Large cranes were brought in and workers were testing the equipment to get them ready for demolition Saturday, but the rain limited in what was done.

Fire officials told FOX61, the five-story building has been vacant for four years. In fact, there was a big fire in 2014 and the building was poorly maintained to begin with.

"It is a significant building on a major commercial corridor and commercial and residential corridor so they’re going to be working fast," said Mayor Luke Bronin.

Julio Mendoza with the Spanish American Merchants Association said the building comes with a big past. It was once a discount store that brought a lot of business to Park Street until the owner closed it down about four years ago.

"Well it used to be a great building. The apartments upstairs were closed for many many years but the business itself was there for over 20 years," said Julio Mendoza of the Spanish American Merchants Association.

Mayor Bronin said he is planning to demolish the building as soon as possible so everyone can return to normalcy and the busy intersection can reopen.

"Obviously the first priorities are to make sure that the residents of the area are in safe housing while this demolition takes place, that we get the street open as quickly as possible and that we get the demo done as quickly as possible," added Mayor Bronin.

Demolition is expected to begin Saturday around 7 a.m.

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