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Patio Collapses In West Town

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Mike Puccinelli Mike Puccinelli
Mike Puccinelli serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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Updated 07/04/14 – 10:45 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A patio collapsed between two buildings in the West Town neighborhood overnight, displacing some people from their home, and forcing a sushi bar to close.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports it happened around 1 a.m. Friday, in the 1400 block of West Chicago Avenue, between a coach house and a building housing a Butterfly Sushi restaurant on the ground floor and apartments above. The vaulted patio fell into a void space about 10 feet deep.

Residents of the coach house were told to leave their home after the collapse, until building inspectors could make sure the rest of the building is structurally safe.

The steel beams supporting the patio appeared to be rusted, and a stamp on the concrete was dated 1932, so it’s possible the support beams had endured more than 80 years of exposure to the elements.

The patio is used as an entry to the coach house. The air conditioning condensers, yard furniture, and other objects on the patio fell into the hole.

“My roommate was woken up by the noise of, like, it sounding like an explosion; and when we went outside it was a complete just hole in our backyard, our neighbor’s backyard,” Melisa Rutkelis said.

Luckily, the debris wound up in a vacant area, and no one was on or under the patio when it fell.

The coach house lost its main entrance when the patio gave way, so residents were only able to get out after firefighters forced open a rear entrance.

Butterfly Sushi won’t be allowed to open either, because it lost one of its two required exits.

The city’s Buildings Department said the building owners were at the site Friday morning to assess the damage, and help tenants relocate, as both structures were vacated after the patio collapsed.

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