NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Emergency crews remained at the scene late Wednesday afternoon, after a partial roof collapse at a CVS drugstore in the Bronx.
The incident took place at around 1:45 p.m. at Burke Avenue near White Plains Road in the Olinville section, the FDNY said.
As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, it made for a dramatic and disturbing picture as the pharmacy collapsed while employees and customers were inside.
“We have a pretty major collapse of the truss support structure of the roof,” said FDNY 18th Division Battalion chief Bart Codd.
Customer Clive Crowers had just left the store at the time.
“When I got to the corner, I saw the building implode out, and the roof of the building buckled. Everybody escaped,” he said.
Customer Daphne Isaacs said she escaped just in time.
“I came out like 10 to 15 minutes prior,” she said.
Even though it appeared most of the roof collapsed, there were no injuries. But there was a rush of water from inside, with ceiling tiles and the contents of the roof draining into the store.
Exterior walls were also bowing out on two sides of the store.
Fire officials blamed the collapse on excessive weight.
“The buildup of snow, ice, and with the rain this morning – maybe the leader pipes, or whatever, weren’t able to drain off the water when we had the rain. That’s just a guess on my part,” Codd said.
Neighbors said the building has been a CVS for about five years. Before that, it was a Pioneer supermarket for many years, and had older roof with truss supports.
“These support structures are old; they were probably built 40 years ago or whatever, and not really built to withstand conditions like this here,” Codd said.
The investigation into the collapse was in the hands of the city Department of Buildings Wednesday afternoon. The department will have to decide whether the building will be salvaged or demolished.
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