Snow Causes Roof Collapse, Carbon Monoxide Scare

By: Dana Brueck Email
By: Dana Brueck Email

The weight of this weekend's wet, heavy snow is causing headaches -- literally -- for people.

Firefighters say snow plugged pipes at a local business, forcing an evacuation due to carbon monoxide. It also caused a store's roof to collapse.

The store owner is already looking forward to a grand re-opening, but the opening in his roof has closed the local landmark indefinitely.

"I'd say it's a disaster area for about 1/4 the size of the store ... a lot of work to be done," store owner Mike Mudler says.

What many used to call a dime store has been in Mt. Horeb for decades.

"People who were kids when it opened are bringing their kids here now so we're a household name in our little neck of the woods," Mudler says.

Today, people pass by the variety store trying to catch a glimpse of its damage. One local couple had hoped to come back this week to buy something but say they're happy to see neighbor stores open.

"If you need anything, this really is the spot for it. Everything from auto parts to pizza to the liquor store and the grocery and bank, everything's right here," local shopper Larry Cooper says.

World of Variety's roof collapsed on Sunday due to the heavy snow, but it fell further by Monday morning, creating what Mudler calls a skylight, where you can see and feel the outside from the inside.

"What can you do? It's a piece of you," Mudler says.

An engineer will determine whether that missing piece is causing structural trouble for the rest of the mall.

"Our responsibility is strictly public safety. We don't think there's a problem but us not thinking there's a problem and guessing that there isn't is not appropriate," Mt. Horeb Fire Chief Chuck Himsel says.

Meantime, in McFarland, snow caused Ferguson Enterprises to evacuate its workers Monday morning after some complained of headaches, prompting a carbon monoxide scare.

"We checked the roof and the heating and ventilation equipment and found some plugged pipes there," Deputy Fire Chief in McFarland Scott Miller says.

No one was transported to the hospital. Back in Mt. Horeb, things are looking up.

"We're lucky nobody got hurt. That's the main thing. The store is just a store and we'll put it back together again and be up and running as soon as we can," Mudler says.

Another roof collapse happened yesterday afternoon in McFarland. Firefighters say part of the roof of a warehouse for Seville Corporation -- the old Monona Tube building -- fell, triggering a water flow alarm.

Also, a spokesperson with Madison Gas and Electric reminds residential customers to make sure snow is cleared form all heat intake and exhaust pipes as well as gas meters for safety reasons.

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