Police: Building collapses on person in Hanahan

by Stacy

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCIV) - Emergency rescue crews responded to a Hanahan neighborhood Thursday afternoon after a building fell on a person, police said.{}

The incident happened at an abandoned home at 6029B Tampa Street, Hanahan Police Lt. Michael Fowler said. Berkeley County EMS asked Charleston County EMS to assist, officials said.

Hanahan Police identified the victim as Johnnie Wright, 50, of North Charleston. According to other witnesses, Wright was working on the demolition project.

The city issued the owner of the home a demolition permit on Dec. 6, 2013, according to Larry Sturdivant, building official with Hanahan's building and codes department. The permit was due to expire six months from the issue date.

"For the last couple years we've worked with our code enforcement department to get the notice out to homeowners that dilapidated property and abandoned vehicles left in yards are not going to be tolerated anymore," Fowler said. "It's an effort to clean up some of the more-neglected areas of the city."

The home had been vacant for about six years, a neighbor said.

A MedEvac chopper was dispatched to nearby Hanahan High School. Police said Wright's injuries were to his head and legs, but were not life-threatening.

Hanahan has two condemned buildings, building official Larry Sturdivant said. The city is also working with five to six other homeowners to repair structures and bring them back up to code, he said.

"We've seen significant change in the number of citations we have had to issue," Sturdivant said. "People are taking pride in their properties. We still have a long way to go. But it's one house at a time."