Structural problems in a building in downtown Clayton led to the evacuation of residents and closure of streets while the safety of the building is evaluated.

Structural problems in a building in downtown Clayton led to the evacuation of residents and closure of streets while the safety of the building is evaluated.

On Sunday at 12:31 p.m., emergency crews were dispatched to a report of a structural collapse at the building at 401 Main Street, on the northwest corner of Main Street and Clayton Avenue, said Clayton Fire Company Public Information Officer Kevin Wilson.

Responding agencies included the Clayton Fire Company, the Kent County Delaware Special Operations Team, American Legion Ambulance 64, Kent County Paramedics, and Delaware State Police Aviation Trooper 4.

The building has second floor apartments and a first floor retail store.

When Clayton Fire Company First Assistant Chief Robbie Johnson arrived, he saw the walls of the building at the roof line had been pushed out due to a partial truss roof collapse, Wilson said. When the fire company's rescue unit arrived shortly after, they established a safety zone around the structure to prevent people and vehicles from getting too close.

The firefighters secured the utilities and started a search of the building.

Several residents from the upstairs apartments were assisted to safety after the doors of the apartments were jammed due to the shifting walls from the partial roof collapse, Wilson said.

Several residents of neighboring homes were evacuated and assisted by the American Red Cross.

DelDOT was called in to close Main Street just west of Railroad Avenue and just east of Smyrna Avenue. Clayton Avenue was also closed just south of West Street.

Clayton firefighters remained at the scene for several hours to ensure the road closures were in place and no further safety requirements were needed.

The scene was turned over to the Clayton Police Department for security.

A building inspector was scheduled to examine the structure today.