‘Very rough wake up:’ Heavy snow causes roof collapse for a Morgan County family
MORGAN COUNTY, Utah — A family living in a Morgan County house got a rude awakening Sunday morning when their roof caved in.
“Very rough wake up for one family at 1:30 in the morning, we were alerted to a roof collapse in a single-family house,” explained Chief Brian Brendel, with the Mountain Green Fire Protection District.
“Only the garage area collapsed, but the rest of the house was very damaged by the collapsing roof,” Brendel said. “There’s obvious structural damage, I believe the house will be condemned by the building inspector.”
Jenny Bober and her husband own the home and rent it out to another family who was inside at the time of the collapse.
“I’m just glad everybody was safe, that it could’ve been so much worse,” Bober expressed.
Brendel said the family living inside was able to exit the home on their own, safely.
“They got into their vehicles in their driveway, luckily there were no vehicles in their garage,” he said.
Brendel said the tenants had heard some sounds indicating there was structural instability.
“They had been hearing little creaks and groans and sounds,” he said.
Bober and her husband said snow had not been a problem before this winter.
“Usually, it’s three or four feet, this year, it’s easily six or seven, and that’s just sitting on the lawn right now. Four or five feet on the roof makes a lot of weight,” he said. “This is the first year we’ve required any kind of roof removal. We have a pretty steep pitch, we have a metal roof so it slides off fairly easily, we have come out here and put heat tape on.”
Brendel said firefighters had difficulty shutting off the utilities from outside of the house, due to the deep snow.
“We wanted to control utilities because trying to know what a building’s going to do, you never know for sure, so we don’t where the gas lines are, where the electric lines are, we don’t know what’s going on in the garage because it was totally collapsed and we couldn’t go in there, so we were going to shut down things from the outside, but we have a minor problem, all this white stuff,” he explained.
Recently, the fire department purchased and ran drills with snow shoes to help with rescue and recovery efforts.
“The guys went around the rear where they would not have been able to do that because of snow more than waist deep,” Brendel said. “We were unable to shut the gas off. We had to wait for Dominion Gas to get there. As it turned out, they didn’t have snow shoes so they borrowed our snow shoes.”
Brendel said the shoes help the firefighters work more quickly and safely.
He also said it’s very helpful for homeowners to completely clear their fire hydrants of snow and recommends using a snowblower to create a path around it so firefighters can have easy access to it.
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