The recent heavy snows in New York have proven extremely frightening for many individuals, especially for those living in unsafe premises. Homes with older supportive structures are especially susceptible when snow is permitted to build up on the roof, as was discovered by two residents of a Syracuse apartment building.
Only a few days ago, a man and a woman were occupying their own apartments on Turtle Avenue in the North side of Syracuse when they simultaneously noticed cracks developing in their ceilings, as well as what sounded like animals racing through the walls. One of the individuals called 911 and both quickly exited their building, just before the roof collapsed.
The Syracuse Fire Chief explained that excessive weight on the roof, resulting from snow buildup, caused the roof to drop into the building, pulling all four of the walls in with it. Although repairs were made on the building in recent years, the landlord did not remove the snow piled up on the flat roof.
Individuals living in any snowy area are advised to check the integrity of their own roofs, especially if the roof is flat. Flat roofs are more likely to collect large amounts of snow. The price of hiring a contractor for snow removal or repairs is certainly more affordable than paying for the damage and injuries caused by a full collapse.
This was a very near miss for these two tenants. Had they not escaped as quickly as they did, they may have suffered severe injuries during the structural collapse of their apartments. Currently, both of the tenants in question are safe and staying with friends and family.
Source: 9WSYR.com, "Two barely escape roof collapse in Syracuse," 2/6/2011