Building partially collapses in Falls section of South Hadley

A building on the corner of Carew and West Main streets in South Hadley partially collapsed over the weekend.

A building on the corner of Carew and West Main streets in South Hadley partially collapsed over the weekend. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

By EMILEE KLEIN

Staff Writer

Published: 06-04-2024 3:30 PM

Modified: 06-04-2024 4:21 PM


SOUTH HADLEY — A two-story building on the corner of Carew and West Main streets in the Falls section of town partially collapsed over the weekend, leaving the structure in ruins.

The Building Department first heard about the collapse of the privately-owned structure at 1 West Main St. on Saturday morning, prompting road closures until late afternoon. Police, firefighters and town employees responded to the scene to clear debris and close the road, according to Interim Building Commissioner Jason Forgue. Crews worked into Saturday night to secure the building and clear debris.

The structure, once home to United Tool Company, is currently roped off from the public. Further debris removal will occur in the coming days, Forgue said.

He said there was evidence of structural issues with the building’s roof back in 2019. The owner of the property at the time, Casimir Kazimierczak, worked on the building until his death in October 2023, according to his sister Jan Mastej, but did not make the structural improvements in time to save it.

United Tool Company was a machine shop owned and operated by Kazimierczak. With his passing, the property’s ownership is being ironed out in probate court, according to Forgue.

“The building has been with us since 1980, and it will continue to be with us. The family does plan to continue and hopefully rebuild. Maybe not as two stories, but our intention to rebuild and beautify the neighborhood,” said Mastej.

Mastej added that her brother worked on the building and continued to run United Tool Company up until his death. The historic building once housed Clydesdale horses for locals, storing hay on the second floor for an overnight stay.

“What happened could have been prevented and should haven’t happened,” she said. “We have resecured it to make it safe for the community. That is what is most important. Thank god nobody got hurt, including the workers who cleared the debris.”

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Prior to the collapse, the town assessor’s office valued the structure and the land it sits on at $121,800.

Emilee Klein can be reached at eklein@gazettenet.com.