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Wind topples home under construction in South Portland

The home fell down onto two vehicles parked in a lot nearby. No injuries were reported, according to the South Portland Fire Department.
Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — While high winds knocked over trash cans and recycling bins across Maine Wednesday, likely the most significant damage caused by gusts came when a home was blown over. 

"I was one block over, and I saw through the parking lot," said eyewitness Annie Turnbull. "The top of the building was shifting down, and it made a very loud noise as it crashed. And then, by the time I made it around the block, people were out, [and] the fire department had already arrived."

The incident happened at a home that is being constructed on D Street in South Portland. South Portland Deputy Fire Chief Phill Selberg told NEWS CENTER Maine it collapsed just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

It appears as though the walls of the half-built home caved in while the roof came down intact. Portions of the building also came down onto a white sedan and a blue truck. 

The owner of the truck, who did not wish to speak on camera, told NEWS CENTER Maine that he was inside of his home nearby at the time. And the wind gusts that toppled the house felt like nothing he's ever experienced before.

According to Selberg, nobody was injured when the unfinished home collapsed. He said the crew that was working on the house earlier in the day left around lunchtime. 

Selberg said the heavy winds Wednesday undoubtedly contributed to the building toppling over; however, an official cause has not been determined. And it's unclear why the walls caved in and didn't stand up to the wind. 

Selberg added the incident had been referred to South Portland's Code Enforcement Office, which will look to determine additional reasons beyond wind that led to the building coming down onto two vehicles. 

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