January 8, 2019 Atlanta: The Wee Willy's gas station on the corner of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Little Mill Road in Buford started collapsing back in May, and Gwinnett County condemned it. Recent rains have made the hole worse. A lot of what's left of the gas station is now just barely hanging on. All of it was apparently caused by a creek that runs underneath the gas station parking lot. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: John Spink
Photo: John Spink

Owner will take action on Gwinnett gas station falling into sinkhole

The owner of a Buford gas station that’s slowly falling into a sinkhole has “committed to take immediate action,” the city’s director of public safety said.

The city first told the station’s owner, Irfanali Momin, to demolish the building or fix the sinkhole on May 30, 2018. The sinkhole was much smaller at that point, Public Safety Director Dan Branch told the AJC. By late December the sinkhole had significantly grown, causing a side wall to fall off of the building and into the hole, along with many pieces of debris. As of Jan. 9, a bathroom and cashier area were dangling precariously  over the edge.


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The sinkhole is not and has never been considered a danger to the public, according to both Branch and Capt. Tommy Rutledge, a spokesman for Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. The fire department evaluated the sinkhole in May and December, putting up caution tape to prevent the public from getting too close each time. Because the sinkhole is entirely on private property, the city could not go in by itself to make repairs or stop it from spreading, Branch said.

After failing to respond to notices from the city of Buford in May and December, Momin was set for a court date on Friday, Jan. 18. That court date was postponed Wednesday, and Branch said Momin had begun the process of debris removal from the site. The building must be inspected for asbestos before the city issues a demolition permit, Branch said in a press release.


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