Code department responds to metal falling from downtown Austin building

Austin Code inspects building at 5th Street and Colorado Street after metal pieces fell from the building. (KXAN Photo/Brittany Glas)
Austin Code inspects building at 5th Street and Colorado Street after metal pieces fell from the building on March 3, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Brittany Glas)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Code Department performed an inspection Monday of a building downtown, after metal pieces from the building fell and landed on top of vehicles last week.

Emergency crews initially responded to reports of debris falling from the 18-story building located at the intersection of 5th and Colorado, at 201 W. 5th Street, in downtown Austin on Friday afternoon.

After KXAN requests for information about the incident, the code department inspected the building on Monday afternoon. As a result of the inspection, no code violations were found.

“We did determine that the structure that was actually involved in the incident was more of a decorative piece, and so, the structure itself, is sound,” said Candice Cooper, public information officer and marketing manager for the Austin code department. “Whether it is a single-family home, or whether it’s a large building in downtown Austin, our job is to respond and to make sure that the structure is secure and that it is safe for our residents and also for our visitors.”

The city’s role in making sure the site is safe, however, is not yet complete.

“We’re going to determine whether or not the decorative piece that was involved was actually part of the site plan,” said Cooper. “If it is a part of the site plan, then typically the case would be closed. We would just wait until it’s fixed and the case would be closed. If it is not a part of the site plan, then we will ensure that the property manager-owner seeks the required permits to ensure that it’s safe.”

The property owner released the following statement:

Lincoln Property Company places tremendous value on the safety of our environments. Unfortunately, earlier this [Friday] afternoon, there was an incident at our 5th+Colorado property. We immediately worked with authorities to secure the area and were profoundly grateful to conclude no one suffered any injuries. A swift internal investigation makes us reasonably certain the cause and scope has been determined. Specifically, a window washer applied an undue amount of force to one awning, causing a total of five to fall. The application of force on the awnings is not in-keeping with our protocols. A more thorough investigation remains underway, and our safety rules and procedures will be reviewed, reinforced and reemphasized with all workers affiliated with our building. Again, Lincoln Property Company values safety and is incredibly grateful no injuries were sustained.”

KXAN requested representatives with the company speak with us on-camera, but our requests were denied. Representatives with the city say the company has been cooperative in dealing with the incident and moving forward.

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