Building collapses on State Route 14 in Geneva, two hurt

State Route 14, Geneva (Photo: Will Morgan)

Geneva, N.Y. - Two people are recovering after a building collapse in Geneva Tuesday.

It happened at Geneva Foreign & Sports State Route 14, south of Packwood Rd.

According to firefighters, the building was under construction at the time.

Two construction workers became trapped and had to be rescued.

David Fitzgerald, 62, was inside while Joseph Gravitte, 35, was operating a lift outside.

"When the building collapsed, one of the guys on the lift itself (Gravitte) got pinned with some of the roofing materials and the truss," said Northside Fire Co. Asst. Chief Ken Nardozzi.

Both were trapped under debris for more than 30 minutes. Firefighters responded sooner, but couldn't immediately get to the workers over concern of more cave-ins.

Fitzgerald and Gravitte both suffered non-life-threatening injuries, deputies and firefighters say. As of Wednesday, Fitzgerald is listed in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital, and Gravitte is listed in satisdactory condition.

"We made sure it was safe enough to get our guys in there, we did a lot of cribbing, we had a lot of different jacks and things," said Nardozzi.

Investigators say gusty winds may have been a factor in the collapse. Wind gusts around 45 mph were recorded in the area at the time of the collapse.

Deputies say two other workers at the site were not injured.

"That's quite a large building and there could have been a lot more individuals in there working," said Nardozzi. "It could have been a lot worse than it was."

According to a recent Facebook post, the 9000 sq. ft. structure was going to be a new service shop.

The Town of Geneva and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to the scene and both are investigating.

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