Paterson building collapse blamed on accumulating snow

N.J. Burkett has the details from Paterson.
February 16, 2014 3:39:49 PM PST
Investigators are blaming the weight of accumulating snow and ice for a partial building collapse in Paterson, New Jersey Sunday.

Nearby residents had to be evacuated after the roof of an abandoned factory caved in on 66 Gray Street.

Firefighters are concerned that the rest of the building could come down, and the exterior walls could collapse into the street. The area of concern is also a building on the other side of Gray Street. A demolition excavation team has been brought in to take down the unstable wall, which should take a few hours.

This comes after authorities across New Jersey advised the owners of homes and commercial buildings to remove snow from their roofs.

Dozens of roof collapses were reported across the state in recent days.

The collapses are mostly due to a series of winter storms that have socked the state in recent weeks with several inches of snow, rain and ice. Officials say the roofs were not designed to handle the stress created by the heavy, frozen precipitation.

Officials say no major injuries have been reported in any of the roof collapses. Homeowners looking to clear their roofs are advised to never stand on top of a snowy roof but instead to work from the side, using a ladder placed on solid ground and a snow rake.