Roof of Mount Horeb Business Collapses

By: Melissa Wollering Email
By: Melissa Wollering Email

The heavy wet snow was too much for one business in Mount Horeb.
The roof of one of the stores in the town's only strip mall collapsed just before eleven o'clock Sunday morning and scared several connected businesses.

"There has been a collapse and twisting of the i-beams, but they are probably displaced about four to six feet on the one end," says Mount Horeb Fire Chief Chuck Himsel.

At least one employee was inside the store when the roof collapsed but was not hurt. The business, which has been around for at least 25 years, was just about to open for the day.

"There is a snow load between Kelscher's grocery store, which has a peaked roof the other way and the load has drifted in where the drop is," says Himsel.

Viking True Value employees say they were initially concerned that the entire strip mall was at risk. William Eberhardt surveyed the damage inside the store next door immediately after it happened.

"There was a straight V in the middle of their store over the cash registers and lights were broken," says Eberhardt. "Once that beam went out that's the whole structure. The other beams could weaken out and we just had to listen for any cracks or anything to make sure it wasn't collapsing on our side."

Mount Horeb fire officials say there is really no threat to the buildings on either side of the World of Variety, but they are having a tough time clearing the snow off its roof.

"That would be ideal to get that snow off of there but it's a precarious place to be because we add to the load then," says Chief Himsel.

One business owner tried to clear his roof after hearing about the nearby collapse but True Value says it's not taking any chances.

"We don't want to go up there first of all because it's already weakened," says Eberhardt.

Fire officials say the business will be closed until an engineer can evaluate the building's safety. There is no dollar estimate on how much damage World of Variety suffered, but Himsel says it will be expensive.
Owners will likely have to replace the support columns.

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