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After terrace collapse, Long Beach residents allowed back home

Rescuers from the Long Beach Fire Department respond

Rescuers from the Long Beach Fire Department respond to a Shore Road building where terraces collapsed Tuesday morning, Aug. 30, 2016. Credit: Jim Staubitser

About 40 Long Beach residents have been allowed to return to their apartment building, a day after five balconies collapsed and the building was evacuated.

The Long Beach Building Department deemed the Sunlit Terrace Apartments building at Shore Road and Monroe Boulevard safe after the remaining terraces were demolished Tuesday night.

Residents were allowed to return by 5 p.m. Wednesday to 18 ocean-view apartments once the patio entrances were sealed and the building department declared the building safe, Long Beach Building and Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said.

The building was evacuated Tuesday morning when two of the third-floor terraces began to collapse onto the balconies below.

No injuries were reported as Long Beach officials inspected the building and ordered landlord Carmine Tepedino to remove the undamaged balconies. Tepedino had started repairs at the building Saturday on the terraces before they collapsed Tuesday morning. The terraces were added in 1951 to the exterior of the 1949 building.

Residents in 30 other apartments on the north side of the building were allowed to return home Tuesday evening, while the 40 other residents evacuated were assisted by the American Red Cross and housed at the Best Western overnight in Rockville Centre before they were allowed back on Wednesday.

Tepedino was cited with one violation for an unsafe structure relating to the balconies, but the violation was addressed once all of the 18 ocean-view terraces were removed, Kemins said. The city ordered all of the terraces removed as a safety precaution after the damaged terraces collapsed.

The building has otherwise been deemed safe and Tepedino faces no additional violations or inspections, Kemins said.

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