Snow Causes Fire Station Roof Collapse

VALLEYFORD, Wash. – All the heavy snow was just too much for the fire house in Valleyford, in southern Spokane County. A portion of the roof collapsed Wednesday night, as contractors were trying to shovel off the snow.

The collapse damaged four of the five bays here at Fire Station 82. That’s where they keep all their fire trucks and heavy equipment. The contractors working on the roof at the time describe it as being swept away in an avalanche.

Spokane County Fire District #8 evacuated the building around 2 p.m., when staff here reported hearing creaks and cracks began to appear in the drywall. The district then called in a local contractor to shovel several feet of snow off the roof.

Six contractors shoveled for almost two hours, then just before 8 p.m. a large section of roof buckled and collapsed. The fire district says two contractors fell as the roof gaveway, but everyone is fine.

“My guesstimation is probably 12 to 14 feet,” says Deputy Chief Lonnie Rash. “They fell on top of the debris. At no time did we find they were entangled in that, however accountability wise we ensured everyone was accounted for and there were no injuries and that if we needed to we sent out a team to extradite those folks from the building.”

Even though a section of the building has collapsed, the firefighter wants reassure neighbors in the Valleyford area that they will still be able to respond to an emergency. They still have all of their equipment and fire trucks they were able to get it out before the collapse. But now, they need to find a place for the administrative staff and a place to redirect their phones and faxes.