When they heard a loud cracking noise, two accountants inside 505 Main St. in Middletown went to the top floor and saw huge beams sagging. They ran and called 911.
Firefighters rushed over from a couple doors away and two were standing outside when they too heard an ominous noise. Within seconds, the top floor came tumbling down, spilling debris onto road.
They all ran. One firefighter lost his helmet. It was slashed with a huge gash. All four managed to get away unharmed as a three-floor building became a two-floor building.
Firefighter Craig Vincellette said he's never been so scared in his life as when he dove for safety as from the collapsing roof and tumbling bricks.
Two business owners who were inside also managed to get out before the collapse happened.
The collapse shot bricks across the street and firefighters evacuated buildings within the collapse zone. Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas shut off power and gas to the whole block.
The top floor of the building was vacant at the time of the collapse, but Oddfellows Playhouse was keeping costumes in the building.
Clothing collected over its 35 year history is being itemized and the damage is being assessed, according to Heather Tolley-Bauer, owner of Done on the Run.
Mike's Barber Shop is one of the three businesses on the street level of the building. Awrecking company will remove the top floor and part of the third floor and determine if the building will have to come down.
Fortunately, the downtown area was not business because of snow, but city officials hope to be able to allow area businesses to open as soon as safely possible.
The building at 472 Main St., which includes three floors of residential units, was also evacuated because of reports of possible structural issues. There was a report of loud cracking. Some roof joists are beginning to sag but the building has not collapsed.
On Thursday, Main Street remains closed between Washington Street (Route 66) and Grand Street.
All southbound traffic on Main Street from the area of Saint Johns Square will be detoured onto Rapallo Avenue or Grand Street. All northbound traffic on Rapallo Avenue will be detoured northbound onto Main Street. The traffic signal at the intersection of Main Street and Grand Street will be turned off, and traffic will flow freely within their respective cone patterns.
Grand Street will be closed to eastbound traffic between High and Main streets. Detour signs will be in place to assist motorists.
On Wednesday night, one building of Middletown Ridge, a condo complex on West Lake Drive, was evacuated because of structural problems.
The steeple and part of the roof of the Calvary for Life Church in Cheshire collapsed under the weight of the snow and ice. The walls of the church have buckled and much of the roof came down on the area where parisioners sit. No one was in the church at the time it collapsed. It was built just three years ago, according to Cheshire police.
In Cromwell, the Kmart was evacuated. Cracks were found inside and outside the building.
In Milford, a manufacturing building at 282 Woodmont Road collapsed and caused gas leak. One minor injury was reported. Evacuations in progress and police are asking people to avoid the area.
Several buildings have been compromised under the weight of snow as snow plagues states across the country. Feet of snow have collected on roofs across the state.
In Waterbury, the entire roof of the former Sena’s Bowling Lanes, at 100 North Main Street, caved in and three quarters of the building collapsed.
The bowling alley is abandoned and emergency crews are not sure if any homeless people were staying inside, so they are checking the property. A parking garage near the bowling alley was also damaged.
There are no reports of injuries. Traffic is currently blocked off and being detoured around the immediate area of North Main Street, Phoenix Avenue, Cooke Street and West Main Street.
In Milford, a manufacturing building at 282 Woodmont Road collapsed and caused gas leak. Officials began evacuating areas and emergency officials ask please to avoid the area.
A carport in Wethersfield collapsed under the weight of snow on Wednesday morning, an automotive repair shop in Enfield, a garage in Manchester and a commercial building at 505 Main Street in Middletown collapsed.
Most of the roof has caved in at Bosco's Automotive at 155 South Road in Enfield.
Yarde Metals, in Southington, was compromised for a second time because of snow. No one was hurt and the company is working to secure the roof of the facility at 45 Newell Street.
In Wethersfield, cars were damaged when a 10-car carport collapsed at the Brandwine Condo complex on Barrington Drive, just off Goff Road. Windows were broken and the car roofs collapsed when the carport came down, officials said.
The carport, which has 10 bays, is separate from the house, police said. The structure is leaning. Contractors are on the way.
The roof of a garage on Center Street in Manchester collapsed around 7 a.m. on Wednesday. A car parked inside the garage and another car next to it were badly damaged. No one was injured.
Officials from the town's building department said this is one of several full or partial collapses they have had in Manchester in the past few days, and they expect more.
The auditorium of Windsor High School was breached on Wednesday when a beam shifted on the roof of the auditorium, causing pressure on sprinkler pipes.
The pipes burst, causing water damage to the interior of the auditorium. The fire department helped pump water from the auditorium and the building inspector was responding.
There are no reports of injuries. School was not in session. Windsor public schools are closed for the day.
The storms caused at least three building collapses on Tuesday.
A horse barn collapsed on North Road in Windam. The 15 horses inside were not harmed.
The roof of a hall at Plainville Congregational Church collapsed. No one was hurt.
The weight of the snow brought down the tennis center on Monroe Turnpike in Trumbull.