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Beware hollow sidewalks: Woman plunges ten feet through one outside Grove Hall church

The hole the woman fell through

BFD photo of collapsed hollow sidewalk.

The Boston Fire Department reports a person fell through a hollow sidewalk outside the Bethlehem Healing Temple Church at 428 Blue Hill Ave. in Grove Hall around 11 p.m. on Friday.

Companies were able to extricate a person who fell approximately 10 feet when the threshold of the building collapsed at 428 Blue Hill Ave, a hollow sidewalk leading into the building. The person was transported by ⁦ BOSTON EMS ⁩ with non life threatening injuries.

ISD records show that on Nov. 2, the church obtains a building permit for:

REPAIR TRENCH // MAINTAIN PEDESTRIAN SAFETY // POLICE DETAIL AREA C

The permit was set to expire on Nov. 15.

Firefighters look into church window. Collapsed hollow sidewalk is to their right, in front of the door (photo by BFD):

Firefighters outside Grove Hall church, next to collapsed sidewalk

Hollow sidewalks - cement poured atop wooden frames above basement spaces - are more common downtown, or at least warning signs about them are. One once caught fire.

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Comments

"Non life threatening injuries", maybe, but she'll be lucky to get out of this without broken bones and a concussion.

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The Globe reports that was her main injury.

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November of what year?

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2022.

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“The Boston Fire Department reports a person fell through a hollow sidewalk outside the Bethlehem Healing Temple Church“

If you’re gonna fall, maybe you heal faster if you fall outside a healing church. Or maybe not.

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Healing Temple

It's the thought that counts.

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Highway to Hell

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1. Based on Google StreetView, it appears that this building wasn't originally built as a church; it seems to have been a one-story block of retail stores, what firefighters call a "taxpayer". A false triangular pediment has been placed over the front door to make it look more like a purpose-built church building; the StreetView image from Stanwood Street shows that the pediment is entirely a false front, with nothing behind it. The church appears to occupy the entire city block from Devon to Stanwood streets.

2. In the photo above, the firefighters are standing on the city sidewalk, running alongside the street. The collapsed area appears to be on private property, in a recessed doorway

3. The most recent Google StreetView image, from December 2022, shows that the building had several red "X" signs to notify the fire department that the building was unoccupied and unsafe. Large portions of the sidewalk were blocked off with Jersey barriers. The "X" signs and sidewalk barriers don't appear on earlier StreetView images (November 2020 back to October 2007).

4. As the Globe notes, the church website indicates that there was some construction and demolition going on last year. (The website's last update appears to have been in July 2022.)

From the website:

PARDON OUR APPEARANCE

Bethlehem Healing Temple is currently undergoing a demolition project scheduled to be conducted throughout 2022. Church services have been conducted at other locations but will be back in-house at 428 Blue Hill Avenue soon. We will make updates to this website as often as possible. This project will be done in stages. We are working to minimize inconvenience and will appreciate your patience.

God Bless You

Bethlehem Healing Temple

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The headline doesn't accurately describe the problem. It's not a sidewalk, and the woman who fell through it wasn't just walking by. The woman circumvented jersey barriers and chain link, and ignored warning signs to put herself into the threshold of the recessed doorway of a building slated for demolition.

https://bethlehemboston.org/wp-content/uploads/202...

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and seeking shelter in the covered entryway? :-/

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The city really cracks down on the property owners of areaways after this. Soooo many downtown, specifically Chinatown and they are all trash. Easy to spot once you realize what’s what

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… and the other bumped up article below.
The streets aren’t safe for pedestrians, nor are the sidewalks. Wear a helmet and a parachute when out walking, people.

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the pedestrian wasn't electrocuted. What's with the open breaker and meter/fuse boxes and dangling wires? Does ISD or Assessing have any inventory of these potential death pits across the city?

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