Nursing Home Roof Collapses, Two Die

DETROIT (WWJ) – Two people allegedly hunting for scrap metal were killed Wednesday after part of a vacant nursing home collapsed on them on Detroit’s west side.

Fire, police, and rescue crews were called to Seven Mile and Glastonbury, near the Southfield Freeway.

Two bodies were discovered in the abandoned five-story building. Fire Chief Kwaku Atara said it’s believed the two men were scrapping at the time of the roof collapse.

“If you see someone scrapping in your neighborhood, call police immediately. This activity directly affects the Detroit Fire Department, because the firefighters have to respond to buildings just like this in emergencies. Not only firefighters but all emergency responders, possibly may have to go into these facilities,” said Atara.

And he says it’s very dangerous.

nursing home collapse close Nursing Home Roof Collapses, Two Die

(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

“We would like to urge residents that this is extremely dangerous way to make a living and we would discourage it at all costs,” said Atara.

Taylor Matthews lives near the abandoned building. She told WWJ’s Marie Osborne it’s an absolute dangerous eye sore.

“I don’t think this is right. It’s a shame that this building has been here forever,” said Matthews.

Rev. Kevin Johnson of Calvary Presbyterian Church, next door to the collapsed building, said he had talked to city officials about the wrecked building several times over the past few years.

“Unsafe? Yes, it’s unsafe. There had been an incident that happened in the spring where some youth were on the roof throwing rocks and damaged cars in our parking lot.

“It’s been bad ever since the building was vacated  nine, 10 years ago. We stepped up our efforts to try and maintain the property so the vegetation didn’t pose traffic hazards at the intersection. It’s been crazy.”

Johnson said two men were regularly at the abandoned building the last few months, pulling out every scrap they could. They showed him a permit from the previous owner, the pastor said.

“They were getting into the skeletal structure, the beams that actually hold the floor up. They literally just tore it apart,” he said. “But I was a voice crying in the wilderness.”

Police say family members of the victims reported they were last seen Monday.

Their identities have not yet been released.

A full  investigation is still under way.

  • Mike

    Metal thieves kill themselves by causing collapse. Film at 11.

    • Artor

      You didn’t read the part where they had a permit from the building owner? Reading comprehension fail. Film at 11.

    • squarebird

      Ha .. the five story building seems to be ten stories tall! Wrong picture, CBS! Typical MSM

      • Georgiasaraann

        You made them change the picture! But NOOOO apology or explanation for the previious error. Lets see if they correct that.

      • Doug

        Right you are. This picture is probably of the apartment fire they referred to.

  • Ron Zaks

    Since the building has collapsed, does not mean the demoncrats will be deprived of all the absentee votes in 2012 from that address?

    • Lazybum

      No. The votes will be pre-cast anyway. All the voters in Detroit live at the cemetery anyway.

    • jnsesq

      Silly, Ron… What they lack in voting addresses they make up for in the now enrolled dead voters.

  • steve5150

    Unless the men owned the building or had permission of the owners they were looting the nursing home.

  • Norbert G. Ginsel

    The previous posters have said it all for me.

  • snuffy

    Very close to a scenario in that show “1,000 ways to die.” Basically a crack couple was in an abandoned building that was set for demolition. The snuck back in the building after the final safety sweep and BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!


    Democrats run Detroit, and they were indirectly responsible for these deaths because of vacant buildings and people who can’t find jobs live like scavengers.

    • Mo Who?

      Republicans run Michigan, and they were indirectly responsible for these deaths because of vacant buildings and people who can’t find jobs live like scavengers.

  • aeroguy48

    A full investigation, as opposed to a half a## investigation?

  • Sunshine Connie

    Criminals deserve whatever injuries they get and then put them in prison.

  • Consultofactus

    Famous last words….”Yo dog! Gives me a han’ wif dis big iron muther”

    • jnsesq


  • Annie

    Ahhh, the lovely Democrat Wonderland of Detroit. Is Oblameo paying your mortgages yet and putting gas in your car?

  • ChicagObama

    Just another day during the Obama Depression.

    Probably Bush’s fault.

  • forty8

    natures way of thinning the herd

  • All it takes is 51%

    Should we thank the Detroit public schools? Over and out.

    • jnsesq

      Wait! Detroit has schools?

  • Jon

    CBS is a joke. This picture was from a fire that happened last summer on the east side (notice the leaves on the tree). Here is an article from the correct event with a picture from the other side.

    • Rusty I. Beam

      See B. S. Sums it up. They couldn’t get the story right if you stood over them with a ball bat.

    • Justin Time

      Typical, reporting on a story and don’t even have a reporter in the city.

  • Chris T

    “I don’t think this is right. It’s a shame that this building has been here forever,” said Matthews.

    I know!
    I mean, who would build something to last forever, only to abandon it?…What a shame

  • Emilio Juares

    Wait, Detroit still has a Fire Department?

  • The Cryptojournalist
  • jim

    Famous last words, “Hold on Dawg, we almost done”.

  • Dingus Magee

    Just plow that whole socialist experiment under and let the liberals start their important work on Chicago. In twenty years the windy city will be a ghost town if the “community organizers” have their way.

    • Whitey


  • Whitey

    Ah haaaaaa! Thrives got what they had coming. Another success story in the Democrat’s America.

  • Whitey


  • ablecynic

    I presume the unionized, liberal, and very “demographically segmented” Detroit Schools teach the “Liberals Dream Theory” of natural selection and evolution. Given that this is standard fare, I hope the teachers will take a few moments this week to comment on how this story is a perfect example of this theory in action. The two men were killed because they weren’t as smart as the rest of the herd so they won’t be able to procreate and their “stupid genes” will die with them. In another century or so, the ‘group’ will become stronger because the weak and stupid will have self destructed.

    Think anyone will teach that this week?


  • Brian Leibow


  • Bill_a_bob

    Did Marie Osborne even get off the couch to write this piece? If a picture is worth a thousand words and its wrong then what about what she wrote??!! DeVry should ask for her Journalism diploma back! CBS will probably promote her. Marie, “Dan Rather is on the phone!”

  • Bill_a_bob

    “What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in life?”

  • proudnot2bliberal

    This just in from White house spokes idiot jay Carney… “its all Bushs fault” including CBS (commie broadcasting system) posting wrong picture of building fire.

  • Georgiasarann

    The fire chief thinks stealing is making a living. What does that tell you about Detroit?

    • able cynic

      Well said! Detroit has reached the point that is is merely feeding off itself. Gradually all the buildings will be destroyed by metal thieves and vandals setting fire until nothing is left. To the Fire Chief, this is normal because it is all he has ever known. They will soon have a new city motto — “Detroit — the city too empty to hate.”

  • J.D.

    Detroit is a sad, sad place.

  • Harleyxx

    Idiots probably knocked down a load bearing wall to get the copper pipes or wiring out. Serves them right for being morons.

  • *Copper Theives Die Stealing Copper: Roof Falls On Them* - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    […] […]

  • JWM

    Two more dead junkies is great news.

  • Bill_a_bob

    Well Marie, Bravo! You’ve changed the picture but I count four floors not five!

  • sue

    The two men had written permission from the owner. They had families. Yes, they made a bad judgement call, but don’t go around speaking bad of the dead if you don’t have all the facts.

    • Josh

      It’s unlikely they had written permission from the owner, especially if they have been at it for months. The property was sold in a tax auction at the end of October. The months prior to that I would imagine the legal owner would be the County.

    • bert

      Thank you Sue, I am grateful that you have spoken up. All of the other comments here are mean spirited, racsist, and completely off base. I’m sure I will be called all kinds of names etc… Merry X-mas

  • Queen

    I would like people to stop making indirect racial remarks about Detroit. Democrats didn’t cause this problem, The republican did. So everyone needs to know that this is a BLUE COLLAR state.

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