Significant Structural Damage Found at Fairfax County Condo Building

Residents of 32 condo units are not allowed to go inside their apartments, officials say

A 10-story condo building in Fairfax County had to be evacuated Sunday afternoon after significant water damage to some of the building's columns caused the building to lower 2 to 3 inches, officials say.

Fairfax County firefighters and building officials found significant structural damage at one of three River Towers Condominiums buildings at 6631 Wakefield Drive in Alexandria, Virginia. A resident noticed cracks in a few columns and called the fire department.

Crews started checking the building and found two floors had cracks in walls and several doors could not be closed. Firefighters then ordered everyone to leave the building and about 400 residents were displaced for several hours while crews and officials examined the building.

Fairfax County Building Official Brian Foley told News4 that the columns that had cracks have severely deteriorated because of water damage and the weight of the building has started to crush and shift the columns.

"Right now the building has fallen 2 to 3 inches. The building does need to be jacked back up and put into place," Foley said.

Foley said years of water infiltration caused the damage and the columns were not appropriately maintained. There is also some damage to columns at the two other buildings at River Towers, but Foley said it is not as severe.

Most residents were allowed back into the building about 8 p.m. Sunday. Fire officials said residents in the 32 apartments above the affected columns cannot go back inside.

Residents that have gone back into the building do not have gas or air conditioning.

The condo buildings date back to the 60s.

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