Building collapses on the historic square in Ozark, Mo.; no injuries reported

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 9:07 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - Police are investigating a building collapse on the square in Ozark.

The collapse happened around 8:30 a.m. near First Street and Church inside Adventure Coffee. Police say there are no injuries reported. The coffee shop was open at the time of the collapse. Investigators say workers evacuated the building before it fell. There are apartments on top of the coffee shop.

Investigators say they evacuated the entire block as a safety precaution. Utility crews turned off power to the impacted buildings.

Police ask drivers to avoid the area while crews work to evaluate other buildings. The Department of Revenue office near the collapsed building will remain closed through the week as crews evaluate the damage to that building.

Investigators believe the building was constructed around 1910.

Lisa Robertson, who lives in Ozark, said she was inside when the building was falling down.

“I was just enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, and low and behold, our life flashed before our eyes,” said Robertson.

Firefighters said one worker from Adventure Coffee and a few customers were inside. No one was in the upstairs apartment.

Robertson said she was shocked.

”That was going through my head when we’re sitting there because I’m like, is it gonna make it here,” said Robertson. “You just kind of saw it in slow motion.”

Robertson said she was on the other side of the building when it started to come down.

“It was literally like cracking,” said Robertson. “The wood just cracking, starting to go, and then the wall.”

Ozark city officials said the coffee shop had all its city permits before opening less than a year ago. Firefighters hope they won’t have to demolish the building.

”We want to ensure that the structural integrity of this building, as well as the other buildings, are intact as they determine what they’re going to do with the facility,” said Aaron Heaton, Assistant Chief with the Ozark Fire Protection District.

Roberston said she and her friends always go to this coffee shop, so they hope it is up and running soon.

”We’re trying to make the downtown square an area to bring the town people to, so to lose a coffee shop on the square is sad,” said Robertson. “Hopefully, they will stay local, or a new opportunity a place for them to go to will happen soon.”

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