Next steps for Howard Tire and Auto after wall collapse in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- After the destruction came delays and denials, but the owners of the McFarland Apartments in Harrisburg are now admitting they own the wall that collapsed, and ultimately forced Howard Henry to go out of business.

Henry said, "I don't feel good that they have to be responsible. I don't feel good about it. I hate the whole thing, to be honest. Every part of it just rips at my soul."

The wall next to the Mulberry Street Bridge collapsed onto Howard Tire and Auto in May 2016, and the building was condemned later that year.

Henry has been looking to move his business ever since.

"That's been almost fruitless, but I'm trying," he said.

He'd prefer to move back into his building on Cameron Street, if the McFarland building above his property is secure. But he claims it's not secure after an engineer with Brehm-Lebo Engineering came out to look at it.

"We're told in this report that that could collapse at any moment. The hydraulic pressures in the ground after rain three four days later are enormous against that foundation," he said.

A security fence will now have to be built around the tire store as a public safety precaution, a deal reached by Henry and McFarland. One person painted graffiti on the car trapped in the debris back in April.

Henry said, "The judge is my hope because I think he has a real serious interest in seeing the community safety issue addressed. And that's the one for me. So you know my business is secondary to this community and that's the truth."

Although McFarland has taken ownership of the wall, a judge will still have to determine who has to pay for cleaning up the site.

Henry said the collapse was not just a heavy weight on the building, it lies heavy on his heart.

"I've been carrying it for over 14 months. It's heavy. It's emotionally, spiritually, financially devastating and heavy," he said.

We reached out to Adam Klein, who represents the owners of The McFarland Apartment, but he declined to comment.