Another Alberta roof collapses from snow

The partial collapse of The Brick's roof in Leduc, Alberta. (Supplied photo)

The partial collapse of The Brick's roof in Leduc, Alberta. (Supplied photo)

MARIAM BOCARI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

EDMONTON - Fire officials are warning businesses with flat-top roofs to remove the snow and ice after the latest roof collapse.

Crews were called at 5:16 a.m. Wednesday to The Brick in Leduc, Alta., a city about 30 kilometres south of Edmonton, where the roof had caved in from the weight of snow.

No injuries were reported.

"There is damage done to the heating and sprinkler system and the whole top structure," said Leduc Deputy Fire Chief Ernie Polsom.

"I'm hesitant to guess about the estimated cost of the damage, but it is going to be a lot."

Polsom also described 10 inches of water on the floor of the City Life Christian Centre that shares a wall with The Brick.

The City Life congregation can check the website www.citylifecc.ca for more information about re-located services.

Polsom urges warehouses and businesses to take precautions with the snow on their roofs.

"If you have a flat-top roof, check for cracks and huge snow loads," said Polsom.

"Huge snow loads on flat roofs need to be removed or get someone to remove it for you."

The Brick spokesman Greg Nakonechny said the roof collapse was "an unbelievable catastrophe," but was glad the collapse happened at a time when there were no staff or customers in the store.

Wednesday's roof collapse at The Brick was the latest in a string of snow-related collapses in the Edmonton area.

A Husky gas station in southeast Edmonton sustained serious damage over the weekend when its roof could no longer withstand the snow load.

And the Northgate Lions Seniors Centre, at 7524 139 Ave., had its roof collapse during a choir practice Tuesday.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

Meanwhile, officials with Edmonton's schools are checking their mostly flat roofs.

Bruno Mannella, of the structural department with the City of Edmonton, is busy assessing the city's roofs that are most at-risk. His department has shut down one building so far because of inadequate support for its ceiling.

"We have narrowed it down to buildings and facilities that have long open spans without a wall, like gymnasiums," said Manella.

"We are searching for anything that would lead to structural movement like deflection in the beams of the building, where the beams start to sag."

The public should be aware to look for signs, such as cracks in the wall or ceiling and leakage, that predispose roofs to collapsing.

Drainage on the roof and the age of the building are also factors in roof collapses.

"We are not taking any risks," said Manella.

"If we feel the structure is not safe for people, we call in engineers to further assess the building or facility."


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