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Demolition begins after blaze condemns building in Forest City

A building heavily damaged by fire back in April is coming down.

FOREST CITY, Pa. — A fire-damaged apartment building in Susquehanna County is coming down.

Back in April, flames tore through the old Kameen Building along Main Street in Forest City. The fire displaced about a dozen people from the apartments.

Zazzera's Supermarket had purchased the building last fall and had plans to renovate it until the fire happened.

Nearly seven months later, heavy equipment and demolition crews began tearing down the building too badly damaged to be saved.

Dave Trichilo says the building had been condemned after the fire, and the front of the building was starting to lean.

"It was unsafe. It's had water pouring through there all summer long, so it was time," Trichilo said.

Several people stopped by throughout the afternoon to watch crews dismantle the building, brick by brick. The building has been a landmark along Main Street for more than 100 years.

"It's one of those old buildings from the beginning of the town, and to see it come down, it's a sad thing because Mr. Kameen's family started the hardware store here," said Chris Degonzague.

"Couldn't save it, just took too long, was filling up with water and mold, everything, every day. So at least now we'll have a new building," Trichilo said.

Forest City residents say they're sad to see a piece of history go, but they're looking forward to the future and what will be here in its place.

"At least the property's not going to be just empty. There will be something there for the town to expand. There is business and everything," Degonzague said.

"We're going to carry beer or wine and a lot of extras to the new store, and it's going to open up our store," Trichilo added.

Store owners say construction on the expansion of Zazzera's will also include a bakery, cheese shop, and cafe. They hope the project will be completed by the spring.

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