Worker: Building evacuation ‘a lot more serious than we thought’ - KPTV - FOX 12

Worker: Building evacuation ‘a lot more serious than we thought’

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The hundreds of people who had to evacuate a building in downtown Portland Tuesday all have unique stories about what they heard and how they got to safety.

The building has 10 stories, and the buckling happened near the fourth floor, meaning there were a number of people above and below it.

MORE: 'No imminent threat' of collapse at evacuated downtown Portland building

Lisa Borok said she was several floors above the buckling and said she couldn’t tell the difference between the sound of the building cracking and the daily sounds in Portland.

“You know, I was hearing a few noises, but it sounded like construction noises,” she said. “But when you’re in that building, there’s vibrations because a car goes by or a truck goes by that’s really big or whatever.”

MORE: Portland Fire & Rescue: 'We don't have to worry about the building collapsing'

Borok works for OHSU on the 8th floor, and she’s used to a variety of noises outside her windows. So when the fire alarm started going off, she and her coworkers took it seriously and evacuated, though they never could’ve predicted the reason they were being forced outside.

“You think it’s a drill, right?  So we’re in the stairwell and some guy goes, ‘Oh no, the back side of the building is collapsing!’ and we’re like, ‘What?!’” she said. “When you go down the stairs, you go out the sides of the back and we looked up and saw the bulge coming out, and it was like, ‘Oh my God, this is a lot more serious than we thought.’”

WATCH: RAW VIDEO: Debris falling from evacuated building in downtown Portland

Employees in the different businesses in the building were allowed to come back inside the building to grab what they could around 2 p.m., with everyone entering through the doors at the 24-Hour Fitness.

Some employees came out with carts full of boxes, but most just grabbed a few important items. Some workers also said they had to leave some things behind.

“I have a bunch of plants that I love but that will just have to wait until I get back,” Raychel Gonzales noted.

The doors at the 24-Hour Fitness closed around 3:30 p.m., so anyone who didn’t grab their belongings will have to wait until after the building goes through an inspection.

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