Auto shop owner wants more than judge’s order following 2016 wall collapse

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A judge issues an order to the city of Harrisburg, saying it needs to hire a team of experts to figure out who owns the land where a wall collapsed.

That collapse happened nearly one year ago, May 5, 2015.

Fast-forward nearly a year to the day later a judge issues an order to the city but it's not the news the business owner was expecting to hear.

It's been nearly a year to the day since debris, parts of a concrete wall and a parked car, came crashing down a hillside onto Howard Tire and Auto.

Howard Tire and Auto owner Howard Henry said "it's just heart breaking to me. I woke up this morning thinking things haven't changed, they've gotten worse. Everybody who's thinking things got better, I want you to know they got worse."

A Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas judge issued an order to the city of Harrisburg to hire a title search firm to find out just who is the legal owner of the collapsed wall.

"The judge did not rule on the building, and the condemnation. He ruled on a wall that isn't even in question in this particular matter. It's just heartbreaking," Howard said.

Henry said it's not the collapsed wall that stands in his way of doing business, but the city's condemnation of part of the McFarland apartment building on the hill above.

"The foundation in that building is in peril, and if it collapses, it falls on to my garage area and kills all my men. It's why I closed these doors. I did it at the recommendation of three engineers," Howard said.

That could change, if the McFarland Apartment's property owner were to win an appeal on the condemnation.

"I'll gladly open the store under those premises. Let's fire this baby right up," Howard said.

That's not all Henry wants.

"They have to fix that building in order for me to open. That's it," Howard said.

In addition to hiring a title search firm, the judge also ordered the city to hire a licensed surveyor and licensed engineer. The results of the title search are to be completed within 60 days.