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Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, LLC
partner Mike DiPiro is feeling lucky to
be alive after no one was injured in a
partial collapse of the firm's more than
100-year-old office building located at
505 Main St. in Middletown. "Nobody
got a scratch," DiPiro said. "I'm thrilled.
I'm so happy no one got hurt."
The structure was one of many across
the state that collapsed under the
weight of weeks of record-breaking
snow accumulation made even heavier
by a sleet and freezing rain storm.
DiPiro and manager Chris Conley
were working on the second floor of the
three-story building on Wednesday,
February 2 when creaking noises com-
ing from above led them to investigate
the building's top floor. They saw the
ceiling sagging and cracking and
quickly fled the building and called 911.
Moments after the fire department
arrived, the roof and almost the entire
third floor collapsed, sending bricks
and rubble crashing onto Main Street.
CSCPA, along with many local busi-
nesses and clients, was quick to offer
help to the firm. CSCPA Executive
Director Art Renner offered up the use
of the CSCPA Education Center at 716
Brook St. in Rocky Hill to serve as a tem-
porary work space during tax season.
"It was really amazing the amount of
space we were offered, even from
competitors in town," said DiPiro.
Ultimately, the firm decided to relocate
to 213 Court St., Middle Oak Building,
7th Floor in Middletown.
The 505 Main St. building will most like-
ly need to be demolished, DiPiro said.
He was able to recover some of the
firm's file servers and computers and is
hoping to get out more during the dem-
olition process.
The firm released a statement assuring
clients that systems are backed up off-
site and no data was lost. "We have a
daily offsite backup that we were able
to restore," DiPiro said. "We have been
in the process of going paperless, but
we were not fully there. Having a
paperless office and a backup would
be ideal in a fire or other situation."
The company posted a message on its
website alerting the public to its new
address and stating that "Our most
valuable assets are intact! Our employ-
ees and clients."
DiPiro said that the fact that the col-
lapse happened on the day of the sleet
and freezing rain storm helped to mini-
mize the number of people in the office.
"There are usually 15 to 20 people in
that building," DiPiro explained, "but
because of the sleet there were very
few people in the building and very few
people on Main Street."
"Things could have turned out differ-
ently," DiPiro said. "[Spending] money
and hassle, we can all survive."
advocacy community education
34
CPAs Escape Building Moments Before Collapse
Middletown firm's roof buckles under weight of snow, ice
By Kirsten Piechota, Managing Editor
Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, LLC's building at 505 Main St. in Middletown, which collapsed
under the weight of snow and ice on February 2. Only two stories of the formerly three-story build-
ing remain.
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