Pa. Man Rescued From Collapsed Building


Firefighters in Connellsville rescued a man Monday evening after the building he was in collapsed, dropping him two stories and trapping him inside.

WTAE Channel 4 Action News' Keith Jones reported that the owner of the building, located in the 100 block of South Pittsburgh Street, was working to remove bricks when the fourth floor collapsed.

The man, identified by family members as Brian Upton, fell two stories to the second floor, where his leg was pinned under heavy debris, Jones reported.

Unable to remove the wood, cement and bricks that were crushing his leg, Upton called 911 for help.

Connellsville Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Bob Topper said freeing Upton from the rubble proved difficult due to the unstable landscape.

"You start moving things, you don't know what else is going to shift," said Topper.

Firefighters rescued Upton and he was flown to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh. His condition was not immediately available.

Upton's other leg had already been amputated after a previous accident.

"I remember when he was 16, he shot his leg off. They told me he was OK then," said his mother, Rosetta Upton.

Family members said they had not yet been told if Upton will lose his remaining leg.

They told Jones that he had owned the building for a few months and was removing the bricks under order from the city of Connellsville.

Three other people were in the building at the time of the collapse but were not injured, Jones reported.

"It sounded like a car crash. I thought it was at first," said Paul Skelton, who was also working inside the building at the time of the collapse.

Connellsville's mayor told Jones that an emergency demolition of the building is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Until then, the 100 block of Pittsburgh Street will remain closed, he said.

The mayor said the building was already scheduled for demolition after strong winds caused a few bricks to fall last week.

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