West Hartford

West Hartford Woman Recounts Ceiling Collapse at Ice Cream Shop

"We're inside when, yeah, the ceiling fell down," she said.

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A West Hartford family’s trip to get ice cream took quite a turn.

They’d never been to Milkcraft in West Hartford and were looking forward to tasting the funky flavors. But while they were in line, they had to jump into action.

 “I was a Girl Scout and my wife does emergency response stuff, so we were like everybody out now,” said Lilla Magee of West Hartford.

Lilla Magee

She snapped this picture of the damage after she, her wife, 14-year-old daughter and her friend witnessed part of the ceiling structure collapsed at the popular, artisanal ice cream shop Monday night on Farmington Avenue.

We had just come back from the women’s national soccer team game and we have a guest in town. We thought we’ve never tried Milkcraft,” she said.

They were waiting in line inside standing close to the door just before 8 p.m. when they spotted something odd.

“My daughter and I noticed. It just looked like the ceiling fan moved. Because my daughter was like, “Did that fan just move?” and I was like, “Ahhh I guess, but why would it have moved?”

She continued, “And it slipped again and then the entire façade, it fell. It stayed connected on the east side, so it just swung down.”  

The West Hartford Fire Department said about 12-20 customers and six employees were inside at the time.

Two people were injured. One of them was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Tuesday, inspectors were on scene checking out the damage inside.

The battalion fire chief said the collapse was localized and not a structural building issue.

Magee said had the ceiling façade fallen in another direction, a lot more people could have been hurt.

“It’s just bizarre. You know? At that time, that moment, that thing happening, I mean that’s what life is you’re almost a mess sometimes if you think what could happen and then it really did. I’m just hoping to get my daughter back in another ice cream store. She was pretty traumatized.”

Magee said she and her family would come back when things get fixed up, as the building would probably be safer than ever.

NBC CT reached out to the building owner and Milkcraft for comment, but hasn’t heard back.

West Hartford Fire Department said Tuesday afternoon they’re working with them to make code-compliant repairs to get Milkcraft open as soon as possible.

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