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Dec-26-2008 17:33printcomments

Roof Collapses at Tualatin Commercial Building

The building has been deemed unsafe to occupy.

Collapsed roof at Tualatin city bldg.
Photo courtesy: TVF&R

(TUALATIN, Ore.) - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to a roof collapse of a commercial building at 8750 SW Old Tualatin Sherwood Road in Tualatin just after 9:00 AM this morning.

Walt Peck with TVFR says the caller to 9-1-1 also reported a strong odor of natural gas. Upon arrival, crews located and turned off the natural gas line for the building and worked to secure the site.

The portion of the building that experienced the roof collapse was unused and not heated.

This likely contributed to an even greater build-up in the snow and ice load.

Officials from the City of Tualatin's Building Department also responded to the scene and worked with the property owner to ascertain the extent of damage to the structure. Until a detailed structural review of the building can be completed, the building has been deemed unsafe to occupy.

With the change-over to rain now occurring, snow is acting as a sponge for additional moisture. Prior to significant melting, this will exacerbate weight loads on roofs.

Advice about minimizing the risk of over-stressing a building roof, released earlier this week by the Washington County Emergency Operations Center, continues to be very appropriate:

• Be on the alert for large snow build-up on your roof.

• If roof snow can be removed, do so with caution. Use plastic shovels or brooms rather than metal shovels. Try to avoid working from ladders. Flat roofs can be shoveled clear, but only if it is determined that the roof is safe to stand upon. Exercise care when on the roof to avoid potentially dangerous falls.

• Flat roof drainage systems should be kept clear to minimize the risk of excess roof ponding in the event of subsequent heavy rainfall or melting.

No estimate of the dollar amount of the damage is available at this time.

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