MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (WGHP) — Inspectors and demolition crews are back at the Main Oak Emporium after Tuesday’s collapse.

Shops and roads in the heart of downtown Mount Airy are still closed, in order to keep people safe. The collapse happened early Tuesday when an officer with the Mount Airy police spotted bricks falling from the building around 5 a.m.

The question remains how much of this historic, 100+-year-old building will be saved after the collapse, which destroyed much of the third story of the building.

Crews on scene Wednesday say they are still working on a game plan, but they will continue taking down part of the building. Demolition began Tuesday night around 9 p.m., but rain delayed a lot of the work. Town officials say that a demolition company will be removing the facade of the building.

They hope to have streets and sidewalks reopened as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Bricks litter the street and support beams are exposed and visible to anyone looking at the Main Oak Emporium from North Main Street.

“Catastrophes are not unknown to places like Mount Airy or most small towns,” Matt Edwards, the executive director of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, said.

Locals shared their devastation at the sight of it. “I mean just the emptiness of downtown. You can stand at an angle and see straight through to the sky through the windows. It’s just heartbreaking,” Sue Heckman said.

The area has been fenced off so that a larger section of North Main Street can reopen.