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Nobody hurt in warehouse roof collapse

Mike Dunham
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

A portion of the roof of a Midtown warehouse collapsed under the weight of snow Friday morning, blowing out a front window and sending five workers scrambling for safety.

No one was injured when the rear portion of the roof caved in, about 10:20 a.m., according to the Anchorage Fire Department.

The building, at 4973 Eagle St., is owned by Southcentral Foundation, a nonprofit that provides health care to Alaska Natives. The warehouse is used to store material ranging from office equipment to painting supplies and has a small work area for making repairs, said Ileen Sylvester, Southcentral's vice president of executive and tribal services.

Public records show that Southcentral Foundation bought the warehouse in December 2008 from a trust managed by Gerald Neeser, a commercial building contractor. It was built in 1976 and was assessed at just under $1 million in 2011. The building has a charitable property tax exemption.

When the Anchorage Fire Department received an emergency call, it responded with 13 units. The first sign of trouble seen by arriving firefighters was a missing front window, blown out by a blast of air from the collapsing structure.

Sylvester said the flat roof of the building had not been cleared of snow this year.

Southcentral Foundation has engineers evaluating the damage, she added.

Firefighters ordered that gas, water and electricity to the building be shut off as a precaution.


By MIKE DUNHAM
Anchorage Daily News