Buildings cave under white stuff
Published Saturday, January 22, 2011 6:01PM MST
Businesses and homeowners around the Capital Region are being warned about the safety hazard posed by large amounts of heavy, wet snow on roofs after a number of structural collapses were reported late this week.
One of the most serious happened at Spruce Grove's SO-CAL Speed Shop around 2:15 p.m. Friday. The event that put three people in harm's way, including Cory Scott and his five-year-old son Aiden.
"It sounded like a train hit the building and then a few ceiling tiles dropped and within seconds the whole ceiling came in," said Scott.
A firefighter by trade, the 29-year-old managed to scoop up his son and get him to safety before he suffered a minor injury to his shoulder.
"I'm not sure what hit me in the backside, but it knocked me down and covered me up in some light debris and I was able to dig myself out," he said.
Jenny Scott drove by the scene before meeting her husband, and feared the worse.
"It broke my heart when I saw it," she said. "I went and met them at the hospital and it was good to see them both."
According to the car shop's business owner, a buildup of snow is the reason behind the collapsed roof.
"The engineer figures it's just straight snow - it just overloaded in one spot," said Murray King.
It's a hazard other businesses are also dealing with, including Cannor Nurseries in Parkland County. Four greenhouses were ruined after heavy snow bent metal and broke plastic earlier this week, surprising the on-site manager.
"These are good greenhouses and they are built to withstand the snow so we we're a little shocked when they all came down," said Brenda Shaul.
Residences are also at risk, with fire crews responding to a collapsed carport at the Westview Trailer Park late Thursday afternoon. No one was injured, but the incident prompted a reminder from those who responded to the scene.
"It's prudent to do maintenance by cleaning off snow on a structure that might be a little too light to carry that load," said Cpt. Turner with Edmonton Fire and Rescue.
Another safety concern is that excess snow can plug rooftop ventilation systems, leading to a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Emergency crews recently responded to a scare of that nature at a Mill Woods business on January 10th. A doctor called 911 after she started to feel a burning sensation in her throat just moments after arriving at her office.
With Files from Sean Amato