The Auburn Fire-Rescue Department was called to 5 St. Mark Street at 5:57 A.M. this morning for a reported building collapse. Upon arrival crews found about 90% of the firmer Auburn SportsPlex had collapsed. No one was inside the building at the time of the collapse and no injuries were reported.
According to an employee of a neighboring business who declined to give his name, he arrived at work about 5:45am Tuesday morning and noticed the building collapse. “I thought someone would have called it in, but I called anyway and the 911 operator said they didn’t know about it” he said.
Fire Chief Stephen Coleman stated “We were fortunate that the building was not in operation and no one was trapped inside. If people were trapped, we would have needed the assistance of the technical rescue team.”
As of 10:30am Tuesday, NStar gas crews were on site with a mini excavator attempting to shut of the gas connection at the street. All utilities had already been disconnected to the building.
One of the NStar crew members who had been able to get closer to the building commented “It [the building] just crumbled in the middle like a tin can.”
The collapse is attributed to the large amount of snow built up on the structure. National Grid, Eversource Gas, and the Auburn Water District were called to the scene to shut off the utilities to the building to prevent any further hazards. The local building inspector was requested and he did respond.
The Auburn SportsPlex closed last March without warning. The property was purchased at bankruptcy auction in December of 2014, and there were reports that the facility would be reopening under new management. Attempts to contact the new owner were have not been successful as of press time.
We urge all residents and business owners to check their roofs for large accumulations of snow and take the appropriate action to clear them.
Please visit the link below for safety tips on how to avoid a roof collapse and video from today’s building collapse.