Rain pooled from March’s record rainfall on an auto shop in north Spokane caused the building’s roof to collapse early Sunday, according to the Spokane Fire Department.
Crews were called to Ulricks Service Center, 3100 N. Division St., after the roof over the business’ south garage fell about 1 a.m.
The main building at Ulricks wasn’t damaged. The garage that collapsed was built in the early 1980s, according to property records.
A gas line ruptured in the collapse, and Division Street was closed to traffic until the gas was shut off, the department said in a news release. No one was inside at the time, and no one was injured.
Part of the remaining structure was bulging after the collapse and the department ordered more of it demolished for public safety reasons, Battalion Chief Mike Thompson said. Some of the structure was near the sidewalk on Euclid Avenue.
Robert Ashley, who lives in a duplex behind Ulricks, said that when the roof was collapsing, he heard a mysterious noise that lasted a couple of minutes and sounded like a plane overhead with serious engine problems. He didn’t realize what had happened until emergency crews were on the scene.
“Thank God it wasn’t on Monday when people are in there working,” Ashley said.
Fire, utility and demolition crews dealt quickly with the emergency, Ashley said. Most of the garage was torn down by midday Sunday.
“They were like beavers,” he said. “They jumped on it until daylight and then some.”