Correctionville, IA building collapses, couple survives - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Correctionville, IA building collapses, couple survives


CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) - A Correctionville, Iowa, couple escapes with their lives after half of their home came crashing down into the street.

What's more miraculous? They were inside as the home's second floor started to collapse.

The Bollmeyers, Gary and Becky, are in good spirits and thankful to be alive after their home, a renovated opera house built in 1893, collapsed, Tuesday morning.

"I was reading the paper and Becky was getting ready to go to work," says Bollmeyer.

That's when at about six o' clock Gary, and his wife Becky, Bollmeyer got quite a scare.

"I heard all the rumbling and the crashing," says witness Richard Flemming.

"It just like went whoosh, and then just dropped," says witness Sharen Groszkrueger.

Plaster came raining down, as the second floor came falling down. The top half of the Bollmeyer's century old home, the Columbia Opera House, toppled into the street.

"From the side angle you can see where the second floor slid off the first, landing in the street. It left little behind but piles of rubble," says Forrest.

"It was scary I though I was back in California in an earthquake," says Flemming.

Nearby, hardware store manager Richard Flemming saw the whole thing. He and another ran to help the Bollmeyers thinking they were trapped inside.

"We both ran across the street here and started hollering, and they answered which was a great feeling," says Richard Flemming.

During the collapse, the Bollmeyers were able to run out the back of the home, escaping. Great news to eye-witness Sharen Groszkrueger who feared the worst.

"I yelled in there to see if they were even alive and they answered me and I told them they had to get out right now, really when I walked up their I had my doubts," says Groszkrueger.

The old dance floor is smashed, and most of the theater destroyed, but with no loss of life, or injuries, this dark drama has a silver lining.

"Nobody was hurt and they have got plenty of family to help," says Groszkrueger.

It's remarkable their wasn't more damage done to the building. On the main floor their is little more than broken windows in the home.

The Bollmeyer's were allowed to grab some personal belongings. For the time being, they'll stay with relatives, who live just around the corner.

City officials say they've got a lot of work ahead of them after the collapse. Correctionville fire officials say they're waiting for a engineer's opinion to determine if the remains of the structure need to be torn down.

They say another collapse is always possible, and for now, they're keeping people away from the building.

Fire officials estimate a chunk of Fifth Street will remain closed for a day during clean up.

They say nothing appears suspicious in the collapse, their blaming the old infrastructure of the building.

"No, nothing suspicious. We just think it was a structural malfunction," says Correctionville Fire Chief Mary Caskey.

Caskey says it's up to the engineer, but she believes part of the home may be salvageable, after extensive repairs.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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