NORTH ADAMS -- The collapse of a fire escape at the Flatiron Building closed North Church Street for about half an hour Wednesday afternoon and sent one man to the hospital, Fire Director Steve Meranti said.
Meranti said he believed that when a man working in the building attempted to use the fire escape, its two sections disconnected from each other.
Meranti described the fire escape as consisting of two parts: a series of stairs on a hinge that descends to the ground when a person steps on it and a platform leading from an exit on the third floor.
Two passersby stopped to help the man before North Adams Ambulance Service and the North Adams Fire Department arrived.
Meranti said the man, who fell between 12 and 15 feet, had a cut on his head when emergency personnel arrived.
The man's identity, exact injuries and the hospital he was transported to weren't available as of press time.
When reached Wednesday evening, Eric Rudd, owner of the building at 17 Church Street, said he believed the man was working for one of the condominium owners, but had no further information.
Meranti said the city building inspector will follow up with Rudd today to determine what caused the collapse.
-- Edward Damon