BAR HARBOR, Maine — A vacant building was torn down Friday evening after the roof partly collapsed — apparently under the weight of accumulated snow — and fire officials determined the structure was a hazard.
The fire department was called to the building on Cottage Street about 4 p.m. The roof of the building, once a service station, had partly collapsed, and the front wall was bulging out toward Cottage Street, Fire Chief Matt Bartlett reported Saturday.
“We made a quick decision at that time to shut down the road,” said Bartlett. The building was located near the city’s municipal building in the downtown area.
After conferring with the property owners, they agreed to demolish what was left of the building, said Bartlett. Contractors were brought to the scene and used a front-end loader and excavator to tear down the structure.
The roof was constructed of wood planks with metal bow trusses, said Bartlett, and a beam had dropped. “We’re believing it was because of the weight of the snow,” he said.
A vehicle that was being stored in the building was removed before the demolition began.
Fire officials and the property owners conferred for an hour or two before agreeing to demolish the building, said Bartlett. Firefighters left the scene about 8 p.m. The debris was left at the site for the time being.
“We appreciate their cooperation,” Bartlett said of the property owners, who were not identified. It was a “tough decision,” he said.
Bartlett said that property owners should be aware of any accumulated snow on the roof of their home or business and consider clearing it off before the onset of any heavy rain or freezing rain.