Crews were at work Tuesday afternoon cleaning snow and ice off the building at 1 Exchange St. in Portland after the city issued a notice of violation to the building’s owner.

The snow and ice problem became news after large chunks of ice fell from the building Sunday and destroyed Adam Sousa’s car, which was parked on Exchange Street in front of the four-story building.

The city inspected the building Monday afternoon and determined that it violated the city ordinance against dangerous ice and snow buildup. The ordinance requires owners to clear snow and ice from their buildings so it does not pose a danger to pedestrians. Failure to do so could lead to fines and a requirement to install roof dams, which block snow and ice from sliding off.

The city reinspected the building Tuesday and found that the ice was being cleared. The building is owned by Joseph Soley, who owns several other properties in downtown Portland.

Sousa, 28, was at the corner of Fore and Exchange streets Tuesday while a worker shoveled and hacked at ice and snow, knocking it to the sidewalk below, where other workers kept pedestrians away.

He said the chunks of ice that demolished his windshield and rear window were so big that it took him and the tow truck operator to lift each one.

Sousa did not have comprehensive insurance on his 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier, which he used to drive the couple of miles from his home to work. He has, however, received broad support from the community.

A crowdfunding effort raised almost $3,000, and a woman he did not know contacted him on Facebook and offered to let him use her car to get to work. Sousa, a bartender at DiMillo’s Restaurant & Lounge, said the U.S. Bartenders Guild has offered to hold a fundraiser for him.

“The amount of help that everybody has been putting forth is just unbelievable,” he said.

Sousa said he spoke with Soley on Tuesday afternoon. “He said he would contact his insurance and he seemed very nice about it,” Sousa said. “He did ask why I didn’t park somewhere else.”

Sousa said the press coverage of the event has led to positive changes, beyond the support he has received from others. He believes the coverage prompted the city to get the building’s snow and ice cleared.

A neighboring building, which on Monday had a shelf of ice protruding precariously, also had been cleaned by Tuesday.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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