Bend co.'s roof collapses under weight of heavy snow

Unoccupied storage building, but message clear

BEND, Ore. - Heavy snow caused a roof to collapse Thursday morning on a Hooker Creek Companies storage building on Bend’s north end, causing nearly $300,000 in damage, but no one was inside and there were no injuries, officials said.

Bend Fire and Rescue responded around 8:30 a.m. to the reported building collapse at 63101 Nels Anderson Road, said Battalion Chief Dave Howe. The building is used to store materials and equipment, and was not occupied at the time, he said.

“Apparently, the weight of the snow on the roof was too much for the structure,” Howe said in a news release.

The roof collapse began in the middle of the roof peak, so each end of the roof was still attached to the walls.

Firefighters did an initial search, to make sure no one was trapped, then helped salvage equipment and material, Howe said.

The building, valued at $273,000, was insured and a total loss, Howe said. There also was $15,000 in damage to contents.

The affected building was the only wood-built structure on the property, Howe noted.

The incident pointed to an issue of hazards in times of heavy snowfall.

Along with the risk of collapse, as the snow warms and melts, it may slide off roofs without warning, Howe said. Also, icicles will form in the next few days, as the snow settles, melts, then freezes again. Ice dams at the edge of roofs are also a concern, he said, because they can force water into the attic of a structure – and the weight of heavy snow stresses structural members and weakens roofs over time.

“These occurrences pose hazards for pedestrians, occupants and buildings,” Howe said. “The fire department recommends that you find a safe means of removing some of the snow from the roof, preferably from the lower edges of the roofs.”

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