Ashton Ferguson was sleeping in his third-floor studio apartment when he woke up to a sudden boom and felt pain.

“All I remember was I got hit by three bricks and felt dust go down my throat,” he said.

Ferguson, 28, appears to have been the only person injured when the brick facade of a Minneapolis apartment building fell to the ground Tuesday night.

The residents of the three-story structure at 615 E. 16th St. were evacuated but were allowed to return to the building on Thursday after the outside wall was stabilized.

Ferguson called 911 and was treated at the scene. He later went to the emergency room at Hennepin County Medical Center and received additional treatment after experiencing more pain.

He said the bricks hit him on his forehead and scalp, and he also suffered a cut lip.

Ferguson said he was sleeping in his bed next to a window that was open when the facade collapsed about 11:45 p.m.

“I was so terrified,” he said. “It was like a big boom. I thought the building was going to crash. It was scary. … I don’t want to go through this ever again.”

He said he got up and looked out the window and saw fire, which was apparently a brief electrical fire that ensued after the brick facing fell.

Ferguson made an appointment with a chiropractor because his neck hurts — possibly, he said, from jerking his head as he got up after the bricks landed on him.

His family members have attempted to call the building administrative office so they can reach the company that insures the building, but the building administration will not give the family the information, he said.

Ferguson, who has been a tenant for three years, works for the Salvation Army as a client advocate. He said he has had problems with a cockroach infestation in his bathroom and kitchen.

“They’re on the stove, the cupboards, on the counters,” he said. He said he has also found a few dead roaches in the refrigerator. He said the apartment has been fumigated, but the roaches keep coming back.

The building is owned by Stephen Frenz, a landlord who has been in continual conflict with tenant activists over conditions in his apartment complexes.

The city’s regulatory division is attempting to revoke the rental licenses Frenz has on some 60 apartment buildings, including the building with the fallen facade on E. 16th Street, after discovering that Frenz’s properties appear to be jointly owned by Spiros Zorbalas. Zorbalas is banned by the City Council from owning rental properties in Minneapolis. Frenz did not return a message left Friday.


Twitter: @randyfurst