Everyone safe after partial roof collapse at building off Anchorage’s Raspberry Road, officials say

The roof over part of a building on Raspberry Road near C Street collapsed Tuesday morning, the Anchorage Fire Department said.

The department said Tuesday afternoon that the cause of the collapse at 611 Raspberry Road is under investigation, and no one required medical treatment.

But the department pointed out that it is important for people to clear roofs following a record-breaking pace of snowfall this year. More than 8 feet of snow has fallen on the city, including 17 inches in recent days.

Heavy snowloads have caused at least four roofs to buckle in Anchorage this winter, with months of cold weather and more snow likely to continue this season.

The building in Tuesday’s collapse is described as an office warehouse, built in 1976 and just over 10,000 square feet, according to Anchorage property records. The address is associated with a business called Unistrut Alaska, which sells structural steel for commercial construction.

The building owner is listed as Wilson and Wilson LLC, property records show. The roof appears to have been flat with wood trusses, photos show.

Employees associated with the business and the building owner said the building is now condemned. They said the Unistrut building was open by appointment for materials pick-up, and is typically unoccupied.


Municipal officials have issued snow-clearing guidance for commercial and residential buildings in the city. They say they believe about 500 to 1,000 buildings in the city have a particular wooden roof structure that has been identified as the factor in most of the 20 roof failures this winter and last winter. The buildings at the highest risk are commercial structures with large roofs built prior to 1990 and supported by wooden trusses with metal gang nail plates. A woman was killed last year in a collapse at the Turnagain CrossFit gym in South Anchorage.

Municipal building officials could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

[Anchorage officials say up to 1,000 commercial buildings at risk of roof collapse, and urge homeowners to clear snow too]

The department was notified of the partial building collapse at about 9 a.m., the department said in a statement.

“The cause of the partial building collapse is still under investigation,” the department said. “We are asking the public to avoid the area.”

“Upon arrival, AFD was advised that all occupants were out of the building,” the fire department said. “AFD did not provide medical treatment or transport. As of this writing, AFD has turned the scene over to the municipal building department.”

“The Anchorage Fire Department would like to remind the community of the importance of clearing your roof of snow,” the department said.

“If you have concerns about your home or commercial building, a structural engineer is the best person to conduct a building evaluation and determine risk and/or safety,” it said.

[Should you shovel your roof? A Q&A with an Anchorage building official.]

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or