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Building collapse forces closure of Niagara Falls restaurant

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Anyone who patronized the Sui Sun Restaurant in a downtrodden Niagara Falls neighborhood better have a backup plan. The structure housing it 4572 Erie Avenue partially collapsed on Saturday. The restaurant was the only tenant in the building.

The owner of the building had been served orders from the City Building Department several times in an effort to make the owner bring it up to code. By the time of Saturday's collapse, there had been no compliance with those orders, according to the city.

Mayor Jim Diodati on Monday noted that such situations to force are a "blight" on the city's landscape. "It's like a rotting tooth and it needs to be extracted before it spreads. ... They are a danger to anyone in the area."

The mayor said this was not the only deteriorated building in the neighborhood of the bus terminal that was issued code repair orders. "We're not interested in absentee landlords and we're not interested in rotting and decaying buildings. It's time to move forward and remove those rotten teeth."

Fire officials say the building will probably be demolished. The building owner will be called to a meeting with city officials this week to discuss the cost of razing the structure.

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