New Castle News


March 14, 2014

Winds bring down brick chimney

NEW CASTLE — Gusting winds blew the chimney off a 100-year-old North Hill house Wednesday.

As the bricks crashed through the roof and into the attic, residents called the fire department.

Tom Bulisco, assistant chief, said the New Castle Fire Department was called about 5:30 p.m. to 1008 Delaware Ave., the home of Mark Moore and his family.

“About eight feet of a 12-foot, double chimney just blew over,” he said. The fallen bricks and decorative top piece resulted in about 2,000 pounds of debris onto the roof.

“Bricks came through the roof and damaged the plaster and furniture in the attic,” Bulisco said. “The weight and force actually moved roof trusses.” Some bricks fell to the ground, damaging vehicles in the driveway.

Bulisco said the area experienced wind gusts of 40 miles per hour Wednesday night.

Noting the structural damage, Bulisco said, he had to make a decision.

“Do we evacuate the people from the house or do we get some of that weight off the roof and try to eliminate the chance of it collapsing later on?”

Opting for the latter, Bulisco sent four firefighters skyward. They pitched debris and bricks — one by one — to the ground below. It took them more than two and a half hours to clear the roof.

“The roof was icy,” he noted. “We were concerned that more would fall later, that as the day warmed up on Thursday, the bricks would shift and start to slide down. They could do a lot of damage if they hit you, falling from three stories.” He said he also was concerned bricks might hit nearby houses.

Bulisco estimated damage to the structure at $20,000.

“They will have to call in contractors to fix the roof and repair the trusses,” Bulisco said. “But since we were able to get some of that weight off the roof, they could at least stay in their own home for the night. It was better for everyone.”


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