May snow causes building collapse in Minnesota

5:48 AM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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WEST CONCORD, Minn. - People of one town in Dodge County had their mid-morning coffee interrupted with a "strange" sound. It was the collapse of the former Boe Jeep dealership building.

"It probably happened 10-10:30ish," said Steven Boe, owner of Boe Jeeps in West Concord. "This (the collapsed building) is our former site and we have been using it for storage of cars and boats."

More than a foot of wet, heavy snow pelted West Concord and accumulated on the old building roof.

"The building has taken that kind of a snow load before though," said Boe. "So, this was a surprise."

No one was inside the structure when it collapsed, and there were no injuries. First responders had to cap a natural gas line when they arrived. Several neighbors smelled gas and some evacuated their homes.

Homeowner Diane Erler was one of the neighbors directly behind the old dealership.

"Just a loud noise and I thought, well, maybe a plow or something was going through the back alley," said Erler. "And I was talking to my daughter on the phone and I said 'oh, my gosh there is stuff all over the deck' and I looked back and I said 'Boe's building collapsed. You know for what I could see of it. It was kind of scary."

Relatives climbed up on Erler's own roof to shovel off more than a foot of the heavy snow.

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