San Diego

12 Displaced After Retaining Wall Collapses in Bankers Hill

A cinderblock retaining wall that lined a property in Bankers Hill collapsed Monday, leaving six families in the multi-unit, two-story home above displaced.

City crews were called to the home near the intersection of Ivy Street and 2nd Avenue at around 7 a.m. after the sloped wall collapsed and spilled concrete blocks onto the sidewalk below.

Workers installed posts to support the front porch and balcony of the home, which appeared to be bowing under their own weight. Neighbors also told NBC 7 the house looked like it had shifted.

A tenant said she heard a loud boom but thought it was from construction work on the house next door.

“I thought it was like a huge truck dumping stuff into the lot next door,” she said. “My dog started barking and I heard my name being called to say ‘Get out of the house! Get out of the house!”

The tenant says crews have been digging and jackhammering at the next-door house for about a year.

“I was so thankful nobody was walking on the sidewalk because all of the trash cans were completely covered in rubble and cinder block and we walk past those every day with our dogs,” she said.

She also said two other tenants had just gone down to empty their trash cans minutes before the wall fell.

According to the tenant, 12 people live in six units at the home.

The city said the home was "red tagged," which means no one will be allowed back inside for any reason until the house is deemed safe. The city also said the sidewalk in front of the home was closed.

The collapsed wall left the dirt beneath the home exposed, leaving some of the tenants fearing what damage upcoming rains might cause.

"It's not really supported by anything else not to mention it's going to rain to rain and it's raining a lot so it's kind of like the perfect storm,' the tenant said.

The owner of the property is taking care of emergency lodging for some of the tenants, the city said.

An investigation into what caused the wall to fall is ongoing.

No other information was available.

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