The collapse, at an apartment complex off of State Street near Veterans Memorial Parkway, was reported to emergency dispatchers at 10:03 a.m. Tuesday.
A half-dozen cars were buried underneath the debris and the collapse blocked about a dozen apartment units, said Greg Ramey, a battalion chief with the Boise Fire Department. “We’ve told (the residents) that it’s safest to stay inside right now. If there’s an emergency we can help them in and out,” Ramey said.
Access could be limited until Wednesday. Residents have heat, electricity and water. “They’re safe and dry and warm in there right now,” Ramey said.
No injuries were reported. Members of the Boise Fire Department’s technical rescue unit among the units that responded.
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Samantha Boucher was at a nearby D.L. Evans Bank when the collapse happened.
“We heard a roaring sound and some crunching. Everybody ran to the window and saw that the carport had collapsed,” Boucher said.
Boucher and several bank employees ran to the apartment complex to see if anyone was injured or needed help. They saw several parked cars damaged by the collapse of the carport.
A woman told the group she was trying to back out of the carport but got stuck in the slush. Luckily, the section she was under remained standing, but Boucher said the woman was concerned it might fall, too.
Bystanders, including the woman’s son, helped push the car out of the slush to a safer area.
One of the bank employees helped calm the woman down, Boucher said.
“A few of us tried to knock on doors to notify neighbors to stay inside, but the position of the carport made it really risky to move around the entrances to the apartments so we stopped,” she said.
Fire department crews arrived a few minutes later, she said.
“It appears that the snow load on the carport, combined with the wet snow that we’ve been receiving — and rain — added weight to it to the point where it collapsed,” Ramey said. “It’s a load that this carport probably has never seen before.”
The complex’s property management company was on the scene shortly after the collapse, and was in contact with the insurance company.
The area did not lose power.