Brick narrowly misses 6-week-old baby, woman after falling from vacant West Garfield Park building

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Brick falls off vacant building, narrowly missing baby and woman
A brick fell off a vacant building and onto a West Garfield Park townhome near North Pulaski Road and West Washington Boulevard.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family is thankful to be alive.

Bricks from a large vacant building next door came tumbling down on Monday evening, narrowly missing a young woman and her 6-week-old baby.

One man, who prefers not to show his face on camera, is thanking his lucky stars that his daughter and grandchild were in a different room when bricks came crashing through their bedroom ceiling.

"It was just like a horrific scene. Big massive bricks, drywall, wood, just laying in the bed where they both lay at," he said. "It could've been way worse than this. There's a 6-week-old baby I could've been figuring out, and a 20-year-old girl, saying, 'what are we gonna do? Where are we going to bury them?'"

Crews repaired the roof and removing debris on Tuesday after it fell from the vacant building next door.

"Last night, there were people standing outside, and there were bricks falling on them, just falling down out of the sky. And, what do you do? Look up every time when you walk past the building? That's ridiculous," the man said.

No one was hurt, but multiple rooms were damaged.

The dilapidated building is the landmarked Guyon Building. Once a fancy hotel, it's been sitting empty since the 1990s.

In July of 1986, President Jimmy Carter and his wife stayed there briefly while working on a Habitat for Humanity project nearby.

One man said he's lived next door for 17 years, and this is the third incident that's happened.

"I'm still in disbelief right now. Hopefully, someone from the city will come out, and tell us what they're going to do or what needs to be done," he said.

The Chicago Department of Buildings said the owner is making emergency temporary repairs and is mobilizing contractors to abate the loose masonry.

The property was previously cited for building code violations in 2022, and the owner is currently being sued by the city. City officials promised to hold the property owner accountable.

Meanwhile, the family cannot safely stay there. They'll be sleeping elsewhere on Tuesday night.