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December 02, 2017 10:01 PM

One Year Anniversary Of Downtown Sioux Falls Building Collapse

It's been one year since one of the worst tragedies to happen in Sioux Falls.

On December 2nd, the old copper lounge collapsed, killing one and injuring another. 

Now, the lot is under construction and community members are remembering the day and the man that died. 

December 2 is a day many won't forget, especially those who were near the old copper lounge when it collapsed.

Kurtis Brown was supposed to meet friends at the Phillips Avenue Diner but instead arrived to something else.

"I parked a block away like I normally would and just walked down the sidewalk and ended up in front of the building itself," said Brown. 

Brown says he saw others helping out the first responders and decided to follow suit. 

"They were buying coffee and I got to thinking about it. I'm from a small town and Sioux Falls, I've always said, is one of the biggest small towns I've ever seen and back home everybody always wants to help each other out and I thought it's the smallest thing I can do," said Brown. 

He was able to get free coffee from the Phillips Avenue diner and take it to first responders. 

Michael Huber was also in the area when the building went down.

"Some folks had heard the noise when the building collapsed. So then we came out and immediately the police were here and fire trucks were here and they were starting to look at the damage that was going on," said Huber. 

Huber says he actually talked with two construction workers a week prior to the collapse. 

"I had spoken with them just walking by one day and asked them how it was going? What things they were doing? He was explaining to me, they were putting up this new wall and didn't say anything about them knocking down the wall that eventually made it collapse," said Huber. 

During live coverage of the building collapse, KELOLAND News received this photo downloaded from Hultgren Construction's Facebook page that showed workers taking down a load bearing wall. KELOLAND Investigates later discovered the company didn't have the permits to do that. 

As Brown stood by helping, he says the first responders did their jobs well. 

"They were doing fantastic. You can see guys trading out spots. People working and then trading with other people who had been working longer," said Brown. 

The collapse took one man's life and injured a woman living in the building. 

Now the lot is under construction. There's a memorial set up by Ethan McMahon's family in remembrance of him. 

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