Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on January 26, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
More roof collapses in Capital region
The roof of a Brick store in Leduc collapsed Wednesday morning, one of a number of roofs that have been coming down in the region.
Firefighters were called to the store at 5:15 a.m. Investigators say the partial cave-in was due to excessive snow piled on the roof.
There were no reported injuries and no one was in the building when a large heating and air conditioning unit fell through and into the electronics department of the store.
The fire department is warning that flat-topped roofs in the region, especially commercial buildings, are more at risk for a cave-in due to snow and owners should inspect them immediately.
“Folks with flat roofed buildings particularly those with large heating units, really need to be getting up there, taking a look make sure your drains are open and if there’s excessive loads of snow up there start plans to remove it right away,” said Ernie Polsom, Leduc fire chief.
Polsom said there are about 300 other buildings in Leduc that have a similiar roof style to the Brick store that could also be at risk of a roof collapse.
Angled roofs – which most residential homes have – are not believed to be at risk from heavy snow build-up at this time.
The roof collapse comes in the wake of several other roof collapses in and around the Edmonton area.
On Tuesday the roof of the gymnasium at the Northgate Lions Seniors Recreation Centre came crashing down.
A seniors’ choir group practicing in the gym at the time narrowly made it out without injuries.
A Husky gas station in Mill Woods was destroyed when its roof came down over the weekend.
Horse stables, autobody shops and even an arena have all also suffered from collapsing roofs in the last couple weeks.
The city has begun conducting inspections of potentially vulnerable roofs on city-owned buildings in an effort to avoid more damage.
The Highlands branch of the Edmonton Public Library was closed Wednesday due to a risk of trouble identified by city inspectors.
Edmonton Public Schools say they are inspecting all of their 197 schools and other buildings, looking at snow depth and roof drainage, to ensure the buildings are safe. They hope to be completed inspections later today.
Edmonton Catholic Schools say of their 90 building, 87 schools and three administrative, 40 have been identified as being at risk of structural damage.
Edmonton Catholic has hired a crew that has so far cleared off 20 of the 40 buildings. They have not noticed any signs of roofs being compromised.
AMA is advising homeowners check their insurance policies to make sure it includes coverage for roof damage caused by heavy snow.
With files from Laurel Clark.