Falling bricks tumble into home, narrowly missing woman and baby

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:34 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHICAGO (WLS) - A family is thankful to be alive. Bricks from a large vacant building next door came tumbling down Monday evening narrowly missing a young woman and her 6-week-old baby.

“It was just like a horrific scene. Big massive bricks, drywall, wood, just laying in the bed where they both lay at,” said a man, who prefers not to be named or to show his face on camera.

He is thanking his lucky stars his daughter and grandchild were in a different room when bricks came crashing through their bedroom ceiling.

“It could’ve been way worse than this,” he said. There’s a 6-week-old baby I could’ve been figuring out and a 20-year-old girl … saying, what are we going to do? Where are we going to bury them?

Crews were repairing the roof and removing debris Tuesday after it fell from the vacant building next door.

No one was hurt, but multiple rooms were damaged.

“Monday night, there were people standing outside, and there were bricks falling on them, just falling down out of the sky. And what do you do? Look up every time when you walk past the building? That’s ridiculous,” the man said.

The dilapidated building is the landmark Guyon Building. Once a fancy hotel, it’s been sitting empty since the 90s.

In July of 1986, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife stayed there briefly while working on a Habitat for Humanity project nearby.

This man says he’s lived next door for 17 years, and this is the third incident that’s happened.

“I’m still in disbelief right now. Hopefully someone from the city will come out and tell us what they’re going to do or what needs to be done,” the man said.

The city’s Department of Buildings says the owner is making emergency temporary repairs and mobilizing contractors to abate the loose masonry.

The property was previously cited for building code violations in 2022, and the owner is currently being sued by the city.

City officials are promising to hold the property owner accountable.