'Just smoke in the whole street’: Investigation underway after Conway building collapses

'Just smoke in the whole street’: Investigation underway after Conway building collapses
Building collapse Tuesday afternoon in Conway

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Conway police and firefighters were called to a building collapse in the city’s downtown area.

The collapse happened around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday on Laurel Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, according to the Conway Fire Department’s Facebook page.

Josh Houseknecht was standing just feet away from the building when it fell to the ground.

“First you started to hear like a little bit of crumbling you know what I mean? Then the next thing you knew, the whole roof just fell. I was right over there across the street and the whole roof just collapsed right in and you couldn’t really see anything after it. It was just smoke in this whole street," Houseknecht said.

Conway city spokesperson Taylor Newell was also close by when the building collapsed.

“We got a call saying the building had collapsed and we all ran out here and we saw, you could see dust flying up because it had just happened seconds before," Newell said.

Horry County Fire Rescue was called to the scene to help search the property for possible injuries. HCFR said all is clear and there are no injuries.

“It’s crazy, we were all worried that something happened to somebody so I’m thankful that nothing happened to anybody," Houseknecht said.

A Conway city official said the building is owned by city councilman Tom Anderson.

People who work in the area said the building has recently been under renovation. WMBF News has reached out to Anderson but have not heard back.

Records show that Anderson bought the building in September 2016.

The building itself was built in 1938, according to tax records.

Authorities are now investigating what caused the collapse.

Newell said over the next couple of days, the city will work with Anderson to figure out a plan to demolish the building.

We will bring you updates as they come into our newsroom.

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