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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – Although it seemed miraculous that no one was injured when an underground parking garage collapsed, residents of Marine Towers West are waiting to find out if they’ll be able to return home for Christmas.

The apartment buildings were evacuated as a precaution after the collapse around 10 a.m.

The City of Lakewood has set up a phone line for residents that they can call for updates.

It’s 1-866-647-1306.

A full evaluation of the site is being performed by a structural engineer.

“They’ll do a complete assessment of the building, the structure itself, then they’ll open it back up. We’re hoping to open, turn it back over to the residents within the next 24 hours,” said Lakewood Fire Chief Timothy Dunphy.

  • Lakewood collapsed parking garage, smashed cars
  • Lakewood parking garage collapse, firefighters

The collapse was so powerful, residents felt their high-rise apartments shake.

“There was like a little shake in the building, I thought it was like an earthquake or something… Just kind of like a ‘boom.’ It was quick, like ‘boom’ and that was it,” said resident Matt Bennett.

“I had just come back in from taking the trash out. I had heard a few noises down in the underground because that’s where the dumpsters are located. I hurried up and went back up to my unit, I’m on the 12th floor and when I got to my unit, that’s when I heard the ‘boom’ and it shook the whole building, like left to right, right to left,” explained one resident, who did not want to give his name.

Crews will be sifting through the rubble and debris again Friday.

Thursday, they pulled out 3 cars that were mangled and crushed.

There is no indication yet of what caused the collapse.