NewsLocal News


'The ceiling just collapsed': Truck drivers, employees escape gas station roof collapse in Racine County

Posted at 4:39 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 19:50:37-05

RACINE — A roof collapse at a gas station in Racine County leaves damage but no injuries, according to the Union Grove Fire Department.

The fire chief said they’re investigating the cause of the roof collapse at Racine Petro at 717 S Sylvania Ave., but they aren’t ruling out whether heavy snow or construction inside was to blame.

“All of a sudden just heard like a big rumble, a big roar,” Jeffrey Nock.

This picture from the ‘Racine County News/Scanner’ Twitter page shows the aftermath of the mess. Nock was inside the gas station near I-94 and Highway 20 when the roof came tumbling down Tuesday morning.

Racine Petro
The collapsed roof at Racine Petro.

“I was on the phone talking to my fiancé when it first happened and I’m hollering and screaming and she goes, ‘what’s going on?’ I go, ‘the ceiling just collapsed,’” Nock said.

Nock said he was one of about ten truck drivers who rushed out of the store alongside gas station employees and construction workers.

The Union Grove fire chief said construction crews were removing a wall inside the gas station when the roof gave way. The fire chief said he isn’t ruling out whether a foot of fresh snow caused too much stress on the top of the building.

The latest round of Lake Effect snow in eastern Racine County dumped about a foot and a half of fresh powder. Residents in Racine spent Tuesday digging themselves out of the deepest snow depth they’ve had in two decades, but hardware store manager Clifford Baars said the extra weight on your roof shouldn’t be much of a concern.

“You don’t have to worry. It ain’t going to collapse,” Baars said. “The trusses are built with snow load. Snow load is required by state statutes, before it can be built.”

Clifford said that’s because roofs have an ice and water shield underneath the shingles to prevent water from leaking or creating holes. Clifford believes the only people who may have an issue are those with flat and poorly installed roofs.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip