Shane McInroy, manager of the Ridley’s Family Market in Weiser, was up on the roof with 11 other people, clearing the heavy snow load, when the center of the roof gave way.
“We were on the edges, starting from there, and it started going from the middle out,” McInroy said. “We retreated further to the edge. I called 911 at 11:10 a.m. Then some good Samaritans threw us some ladders, and we got down.”
No one was hurt, he said.
After an overnight storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow onto an already snowy roof, McInroy closed the store at 8:30 a.m. Thursday as a precaution and called Western Roofing.
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“I just had a gut feeling,” he said.
McInroy estimated he, two employees and nine western roofing workers were on the collapsing roof from 3 to 5 minutes before the ladders arrived. “It seemed like a lot longer,” he said.
The collapse continued into the early afternoon, he said, estimating it at 85 percent by 1 p.m. The sprinklers went off, he said, and between water damage and the collapse, the store and its merchandise are likely “a total loss,” he said.
Ridley’s, 652 E. 1st St, is Weiser’s only grocery store and employs about 60 people, McInroy said. The next-closest grocery stores are in Ontario, Ore., and Payette.
On Thursday the block was closed and all utilities cut to the building as emergency crews responded.
What’s next for the store?
“That’ll be up to my bosses,” McInroy said. “I hope they rebuild.”