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Article updated: 10/11/2013 5:51 AM

Mount Prospect store nearly stabilized

Philip H. Newmarker, right, general adjuster for The Travelers Companies, Inc., talks with Michael Luber, owner of Tri-State Electronic in Mount Prospect.

Philip H. Newmarker, right, general adjuster for The Travelers Companies, Inc., talks with Michael Luber, owner of Tri-State Electronic in Mount Prospect.

 

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Air conditioning units appear to be sinking into the roof.

Air conditioning units appear to be sinking into the roof.

 

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Workers shore up the east wall of Tri-State Electronic in Mount Prospect.

Workers shore up the east wall of Tri-State Electronic in Mount Prospect.

 

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

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Engineers have been working to stabilize Tri State Electronics, the Mount Prospect building that has been in danger of collapsing -- and hope to have the area declared safe by Thursday evening.

Mount Prospect Fire Chief John Malcolm said Thursday afternoon he is waiting for the OK from the building's engineers that the building is completely shored up and stabilized before reopening the two westbound lanes of Northwest Highway.

The lanes have been closed since Tuesday, when officials first decided the building was structurally unsound.

Once the engineers have it shored up, it is unlikely that the commercial electronics store will collapse further on its own and it will be safe to reopen the nearby road, he said.

"The main priority right now is making sure the building is secure and safe so that we can reopen Northwest Highway fully," Malcolm said. "We won't do that until we are assured by the building department and the engineers that the building is safe."

From there it will be up to the owner to determine if the building needs to be fully or partially demolished or if it can be repaired, he said.

Fire officials believe a wood truss supporting the roof snapped, breaking a water line and causing a domino effect of breaking trusses throughout the afternoon that left the building on the verge of collapse Tuesday evening.

By Wednesday morning a small crack on the side of the building was continuing to grow and part of the roof at the back of the building and the building's roof-mounted air-conditioning units had fallen in.

"We don't know the cause, we weren't aware of any violations or anything," Malcolm said. He added that the building department will do a final report later on.

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