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A local woman talks about a change in her routine after bricks fall from building

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jun 17, 2024

KAUKAUNA, Wis. — A woman tells NBC 26 she did not take her normal walk past a building after bricks fell off the building's facade.

  • Police were called Sunday just before 6 p.m. to the 300 block of Lawe St. in Kaukauna; authorities shut down the road because bricks had fallen from a building onto the sidewalk and street.
  • Lawe Street (Hwy. 55) remained closed Monday
  • A man who owns the building with his wife said a brick mason company had a scheduled appointment at the building in the days before the incident, but the brick company workers were too busy to keep the appointment and did not arrive.

Lauren Gornik calls it unreal.

"I am definitely by that building almost every day," Gornik said about The Galleria of Tile building in Kaukauna.

But she did not take her regular walk past the building on Sunday; she was not there when bricks were falling from the building's facade.

"I'm blessed nothing happened to my mom, or [me], or any of my friends walking by there."

Kaukauna Police were called to the scene Sunday shortly before 6 p.m.

No one was hurt.

The cause of the falling bricks is unknown, but the building's age played a role, according to a City of Kaukauna news release.

Jesus Septimo and his wife own the building and The Galleria of Tile.

"[We're] lucky nobody got hurt... no cars [were] damaged, thank God," Septimo said.

He believes the building suffered damage after a tornado went through Kaukauna last month.

No one was hurt in the city then, either.

Septimo says since the storm, several bricks had fallen, and they actually had a brick company scheduled to look at the building last Friday and Saturday.

"The company could have come and removed all the bricks around the building," Septimo said.

But he said the brick company was too busy and couldn't make it.

Going forward, Septimo said if the foundation of the building is O.K., they'll probably take the bricks off the facade and replace it with metal.

Otherwise, he said, the building will probably come down.

They say timing is everything - and here's another reason why:

About a block over from the building is Park Community Charter School.

Students at the school often take field trips, which sometimes take them walking on the same sidewalk where the bricks fell, the school's principal said.

It gives new meaning to feeling thankful for summer vacation.

Between the tornado and the tumbling bricks, Kaukauna has seen destruction over the last month, but has also been beautifully spared.