Crane Called in to Bring Down Part of Vallejo Church at Risk of Collapse After South Napa Earthquake

A large portion at the top of a Vallejo church needed to come down after a brick wall separated in Sunday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake.

A pastor walking through the First Baptist Church at 2025 Sonoma Blvd., located on Highway 29 between Florida and Carolina streets, noticed that the wall of a large tower in the front section of the church had separated itself from the front, Vallejo police Lt. Sid DeJesus said.

The 100-year-old church was on the verge of collapsing.

"We had access on the inside and saw how severe it was," Pastor Al Marks said. "At 11 a.m., we called the fire department and said this could be dangerous.”

Streets in the area have been evacuated and emergency responders used a crane to pull down part of the top section of the church to keep it from falling, DeJesus said. The church is directly across the street from an elementary school, so police and fire officials decided to shut the road down just in case.

Sonoma Boulevard has been closed between Capitol and Florida streets since about 3:15 p.m. and will remain closed until work is complete, which could take most of the evening, DeJesus said.

Some homes nearby have been evacuated as well.

The church was not one of seven buildings that had been declared uninhabitable by Monday afternoon but inspections are continuing in the city.

There was initially some doubt that people in need would be served lunch tomorrow, but the church said it will be served at 11 a.m.

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