Two South Bend buildings collapse days apart, both had ongoing Code Enforcement cases

NOW: Two South Bend buildings collapse days apart, both had ongoing Code Enforcement cases

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Two buildings in South Bend collapsed within the past few days. In both cases, residents said they complained to Code Enforcement long before the buildings gave in.

Michiana saw severe weather over the past several days, but whether both buildings collapsed as a result of storm damage is still yet to be confirmed.

A building located at 1774 Prairie in South Bend partially collapsed. Officials have not confirmed a date or time for the damage.

Caleb Bauer with the City of South Bend confirmed there has been an ongoing litter violation case under continuous enforcement, along with grass and weed complaints in both 2018 and 2019.

“The City is still attempting to contact the owner of the building at 1774 Prairie to address brick veneer that fell from the structure,” Bauer said. “A review of the outdoor of the building by inspectors found that other exterior finishes are still in disrepair and need to be addressed for safety reasons. In the meantime, the sidewalk will be closed out of an abundance of caution. The property has been under continuous enforcement for previous litter violations.”

On Sunday, the former Lighthouse Prayer Tower Fellowship located at 1111/1115 E. Indiana Ave. came crashing down, leaving only the front of the building still standing. The building had been vacant for at least a year, according to residents.

While no one was hurt, the collapse left damage to neighboring homes and the street without power. South Bend Common Council Member Sharon McBride confirmed that the partial collapse rested on power lines, which is why AEP cut the power.

A review showed the structure gave in because of deterioration of the roof assembly, only made worse by recent heavy rain, according to McBride.

Bauer said the property had a number of litter and grass violations in the past and the failure to make necessary repairs resulted in an affirmed demolition order since January 2021.

In both cases, neighbors claimed they notified Code Enforcement, concerned about the two locations being problem buildings beforehand. ABC57 has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for more on this data.

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