Owners of a beloved NDG depanneur were rushed out of their business Thursday before the back of the building began to collapse.

Soon after, the entire building was soon a pile of rubble.

Deli-Pat, an institution that served the Concordia University Loyola campus community for decades, is now being loaded piece-by-piece into dump trucks and carried away.

"That family, they've been around forever, always very welcoming whenever you came in, said hi to everyone," said Concordia Stingers football head coach Brad Collinson, who lived nearby when he was a student-athlete and frequented the deli often. "It's a really sad day for them."

The owners said around noon, the construction crew renovating the upstairs floors ran into the business and told them they needed to leave as the back of the building began to collapse.

"They were pulling the third floor, and then it just collapsed," said one witness.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as the contractor decided to tear the entire building down.

CDN-NDG borough manager Stephane Plante told CTV that city inspectors were called to the site when cracks were discovered in the foundation. The inspector then told the contractor to halt work and call an engineer, but, before the engineer arrived, the building began to collapse.

The contractor said his only option was to tear the building down, and the city is looking into whether that was the correct decision.

The city also wants to know if bystanders were put in danger because of it.