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More details on collapsed church; property owner warned several times to clean it up

Updated: Sunday, February 23 2014, 10:18 PM CST
Reported by: Ewa Roman

HARRISBURG -- In the middle of the investigation into a roof collapse Friday at an old vacant church in Harrisburg, CBS 21 cameras caught Harrisburg Police arresting the building's owner,  Augustus Sullivan.

CBS 21 later discovered that he had been ordered to take care of the property several times.

"I think this should send a resounding message to the slumlords in the city of Harrisburg that we will no longer play the game with you, we are going to come after you and we are going to make the city right again,” said acting Harrisburg fire chief Brian Enterline.

Court documents CBS 21 news obtained Sunday show that Sullivan was released from jail and we learned he’s charged with recklessly endangering another person, public nuisance and failing to prevent a catastrophe.

We did some research and found property records that indicate he owns a home on Market Street and when we visited that address no one was home and there was a huge lock on the door.

CBS 21 was first on scene Friday night as the roof of the old church that Sullivan owns collapsed around 6 p.m., parts of it are falling on homes next door. No one was hurt.

“It was a few years ago, when those bricks fell down there were children playing there 10 minutes before it happened,” said Marilyn Green, who lives near the old church.

Nine people were evacuated. Marilyn lives across the street.

“It’s scary. If that building falls this way, we all might be in the same situation, “ said Marilyn.

Sullivan is scheduled to appear in court early March. We will stay on top of this story for you and bring you the latest as it develops.
More details on collapsed church; property owner warned several times to clean it up

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