Central Fresno furniture store roof collapses

The Fresno BeeMay 26, 2014 

Fresno firefighters use a ladder truck to examine a central Fresno furniture store where the roof collapsed Monday afternoon, May 26, 2014. No one was reported injured.

BRIANNA VACCARI — THE FRESNO BEE

A Fresno furniture store's building will likely be demolished after the roof collapsed inside the showroom Monday afternoon, Fresno Fire Department battalion chief Thomas Cope said.

A loud cracking noise prompted three Fantastic Furniture employees to run out of the building right before the roof collapsed inside the showroom, Cope said.

One lane of Blackstone Avenue near Michigan Avenue will be closed since the building, at 2901 N. Blackstone Ave., could potentially collapse onto the street, Cope said.

An outside wall of the store was bulging from the collapse, creating the potential of more collapsing inside the store, another Fresno Fire battalion chief, Tony Escobedo, said. He said store employees reported hearing creaking and cracking in the building Sunday.

Cope said trusses of the arched roof splintered, and the inside of the store was covered in splintered wood. None of the employees was injured.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was called to the scene to turn off the building's utilities before firefighters could enter. Fresno Fire Department's search and rescue team was also sent to the scene to ensure there were no other people in the building.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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