Alfred Gennuso says he is lucky to be around to celebrate his birthday today.
Monday, he stepped out of a conference room in front of the first-floor office of Erie County Surrogate Joseph S. Mattina in Erie County Hall -- seconds before an estimated ton of bricks, plaster and concrete crashed to the floor.
"I almost didn't make it to 60," said Gennuso, a sheriff's deputy.
Court officials blamed the collapse on a second-floor restroom renovation project in the 120-year-old building. Work crews Monday were using sledgehammers to remove old toilets on the second floor.
Gennuso returned to his court assignment in December after being off work a year because of open-heart surgery.
The county and the state are in the process of upgrading the building, which was the site of the McKinley assassination trial.