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Excessive snow causes roof collapse and gas leak at Merrill building


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) -- Merrill fire officials have given the all clear after a roof collapse severed a gas line at a vacant warehouse.

Fire chief Dave Savone says excessive snow on the roof cause parts of it to fall on the line. "It was a 2 inch line that was freflowing gas into the air. And the moment we had located it, we turned the gas off immediately to prevent the gas escaping anymore." Savone says there was no danger to the public.

About 10 percent of the roof collapsed and Savone says the building will need repairs. "The city building inspector has been notified. And we're sure there's parts of the building that will need to be taken down and repaired before the building can be occupied by anybody." The building is currently vacant and was previously owned by Hurd windows. There is a recent buyer on the property.

The accident has Savone prompting residents to take a look at their own houses for excessive snow. "It's probably the right time of the year to think about shovelling off your roof in a safe and effective manner. There's different tools to use to scrape your roof off or there's professionals that come in and shovel your roof off."