What was originally reported as an explosion on southern Walnut Street in Peabody was a large section of the front facade of the American Legion Post 95 building falling to the sidewalk below just after 9:3 0 a.m. Saturday.
Peabody Mayor and Emergency Medical Services volunteer Larry Larsen reported that there was no one nearby when the bricks fell from the top of the building.
“If it was to happen on purpose, it happened on the best day,” he said.
Atmos Energy worker Randy Dallke checked for gas leaks inside the building and said there were none. Larsen said the bricks just gave way. The building is more than 100 years old.
Peabody firefighters worked over the next few hours clearing away loose bricks from the top of the structure.
“You see how easy they’re getting bricks off there,” Larsen commented.
About six parking spaces in front of the American Legion Post and Senior Center were roped off to prevent pedestrians from walking in the way of any other falling debris. The fallen bricks were left on the sidewalk to file an insurance claim, Peabody Economic Development Director Shane Marler said.
Marler said that the Kansas Main Street Society can offer emergency funding using a Kansas Department of Commerce grant for the amount the American Legion insurance does not cover.
The lower half of the building was still in use by American Legion Post 95.
“It will be out of use for awhile,” Post Commander Scott Weber said.