LaFayette law firm using temporary office after building collaps - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

LaFayette law firm using temporary office after building collapse

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LAFAYETTE, GA (WRCB) -

It's been nearly a month since a building in LaFayette partially collapsed in the historic downtown district.

Officials say an exterior wall was unstable before the collapse, and was never repaired.

While the demolition process continues, one nearby business was forced to find temporary office space.

Cunningham Law Offices was originally located right next door to the collapsed building. Their office had been there for more than 25 years.

But for the past month, the staff has been adjusting to a new home down the block.

“The collapse was on a Thursday afternoon,” attorney Ben Bradford recalls. “Friday, everything was really up in the air; we weren't allowed back in our building, and we really didn’t know what the future was going to hold.”

Attorney and office owner Ben Bradford says it's been difficult adjusting to reality in a new office, especially when the damage is close to home.

“It’s very close,” Bradford says. “We can walk out our front door and see the demolition right now that’s going on across the street.”

“The hard part was the move and so we’ve done that and that was painful but now that that’s done we’re operating again,” Bradford says. “We’ve got a sign, we’ve got phones, got the files that we need and so we just don’t want to be in a hurry to move back.”

“We want to make sure that when we do move back we don’t have to move back out,” adds Bradford.

In February, the vacant building partially collapsed.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Wall collapses at building on East Lafayette Square

Bradford says the owner immediately tried to secure it. While doing so, a wall that's shared with Bradford’s office fell, causing damage to the ceiling. It's front wall was also pushed forward.

It's why two metal beams are now welded in to the office building and into the ground.

“They rushed to get that done so that the front wouldn’t fall out on the street,” Bradford says. “I don’t know if it would have but that was the fear.”

Now the question is, will the Cunningham Law Office staff be able to move back in?

“A lot of it depends on the demolition happening right now, how much of the building next-door is going to come down,” Bradford says. “My understanding is the owner next-door wants to take down the entire building.”

Patience is key, but Bradford says he's grateful for the community.

“In the midst of the bad experience the good experience was having and realizing what a great support system we have here in this town,” says Bradford.

If the demolition and repairs go as planned, Bradford believes his staff will be back in their old building in six months.

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