Building collapses from heavy snow on roof in West Springfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Building collapses from heavy snow on roof in West Springfield

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Firefighters responded to a building collapse around 7:30 a.m. on Norman Street in West Springfield on Thursday as the weight of snow became too much for the roof to handle.

No injuries were reported when the 92-year-old building collapsed, which included an office for the Atlas Brass and Aluminum Company, as well as other storage.

"It was a partial structure collapse as a result to heavy, excess snow on the roof," said Richard Craven of the West Springfield Fire Department. "It created a pancake collapse and forced the exterior walls of the building to protrude out into the road."

The Pioneer Valley is just 5 inches away from a snowfall record for the month of February. The weight of all that snow is now stressing aging buildings. 

On Wednesday, an abandoned home in Worcester was torn down to prevent a collapse. Three cows were killed in Framingham when a barn collapsed from heavy snow. Officials are warning residents that snow and ice left on the roof could cause more incidents, despite Western Mass thawing out in the next couple of days.

"Homeowners should just keep an eye on the snow on the roof, and if they can grab a commercial snow rake to clear it up to the ice dam," said Craven. "If not, contact a professional roofing company. Don't ever go up on the roof without the proper safety precaution."

The Pioneer Valley has recorded 27 inches of snow so far this February, more than a foot above average for the month. Before today, temperatures have only spent one afternoon above freezing since Feb. 5, which allowed that snow to stick around.

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