Retaining wall collapses below Bankers Hill house

SAN DIEGO – A retaining wall collapsed below a house in the Bankers Hill neighborhood forcing people to evacuate Monday morning.

A huge pile of cinder blocks was seen on the road and sidewalk on Ivy Street near 2nd Avenue. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department crews received a call about the collapse at 7:36 a.m.

SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said the residents were able to exit the building on their own. Firefighters determined there wasn't a gas leak or fire danger to the building

The people who live and work inside the house were waiting to hear from city inspectors whether they would be able to return to the building.

One resident told FOX 5 the sound of the cinder blocks crashing down was frightening.

"I grabbed my dog and my phone and my laptop and ran out. I just came out and I was so thankful that nobody was walking on the sidewalk, because all of the trash cans were completely covered in rubble and cinder block," said the resident.

A building next to the house was under construction. It was unknown if it was evacuated. Neighbors speculated that the constant digging and jackhammering next door likely made the foundation shaky.

"I have no doubt that everything happening next door has shifted the ground layers and all of the support that the house has. The jack hammering is a lot, and the digging, I mean it’s been completely dug up and the entire lot has been reshaped by that house, so there’s no way it didn’t affect our, the next door area," said the resident.

City officials are now looking into the cause of the collapse and whether the structure is safe to enter. 

“We’re all kind of displaced right now, waiting for them to let us know, but at the moment it’s red tagged so we can’t get any of our stuff. We’re just kind of standing by," the resident said.

There were no reports of injuries.

When residents will be able to return is still unclear. The property owner has offered residents temporary housing until everything can be worked out.

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