A Nakusp woman escaped unharmed after the house collapsed around her.

PHOTOS: 2 homes collapse under heavy snow load in B.C.

Second Nakusp home in eight days caves in from snow load on roof

Nakusp’s fire chief says residents should check their roofs after two houses in the village collapsed from the weight of snow in the last week.

“In 35 years I haven’t seen anything like this happen,” said Terry Warren. “People should have a good look at their roofs… this is snow like we used to get in the 60s.”

Emergency crews responded to a call Monday at 3 p.m. after a house collapsed on 7th Ave.

A woman was in the home, but escaped unharmed with her pets.

RELATED: Rossland City Hall roof partially collapses

The house was completely demolished under the weight of the snow. A car parked on the side of the building was buried when the carport collapsed. The walls of a new garage at the back of the building were blown outward, and lumber and other materials were strewn around. A front porch collapsed under the weight as well.

Firefighters cordoned off the area, and ordered hydro and water to the building cut.

“We don’t know what happened,” said homeowner Lloyd Coates, surveying the damage. “We don’t have any idea. The roof came down.”

Later Coates posted to a community Facebook page, “Well, it looks like I will be looking for a place to rent, must be pet friendly.”

Coates and his wife were put up in emergency shelter for the evening, and the community began to rally behind the couple. Posts on Facebook called for clothes and essentials for the pair, until insurance help kicks in.

It’s the second house collapse in eight days in Nakusp. On February 25th the roof of a mobile home on 9th Ave. caved in, trapping a resident inside. Emergency crews had to extract the person, who was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.

Nakusp fire chief Terry Warren says homeowners should check their roof and shovel it off if it looks overburdened.

“People don’t realize there are tons and tons of snow on their roofs right now,” he says. “There’s been a cycle of melting, snowing, freezing, melting, etc. It may look like the snow has gone down, but it is super-heavy up there.”

A local builder says it can be difficult to tell if a roof or building is at the point of collapse.

“There’s no obvious ways to predict if they are going to fall down or stay up,” says Dave Madden. He suggests people can check for things like cracking drywall, or doors and windows that won’t open all of a sudden.

“Some of these houses are pretty old, and were built before building codes, inspections or proper engineering,” he says.

Madden says he heard of two local buildings that collapsed under the weight of snow last year, one in Hills and one near Nakusp.

“So it does happen,” he says.

Meanwhile, Nakusp’s fire chief is urging people to use caution when clearing their roofs.

“Be careful. You don’t want to fall off your roof,” says Warren.

“But check your snow load. If you have overhanging eaves or porch roofs that have been extended, or garages, those seem to be the most susceptible.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Cindy Coates was in the building but escaped unhurt when the building collapsed around her.

The walls of the back of the garage are blown outward, completely destroying the structure.

Lloyd Coates (right) speaks with emergency officials after the building was secured.

Nakusp’s fire chief says garages and roof extensions seem particularly vulnerable to collapse.

Just Posted

Saanich council approves rural subdivision despite staff and public opposition

Critics say it will lead to urban sprawl, while supporters cite the need for housing

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read