Engineers assess roof collapse at central Fresno furniture store

The Fresno BeeMay 27, 2014 

Structural engineers will assess Tuesday whether or not the building housing Fantastic Furniture should be demolished after the roof collapsed Monday afternoon, Fresno Fire Department officials said.

Lanes of Blackstone Avenue near Michigan have been closed since Monday due to the potential of the building, at 2901 N. Blackstone Ave., collapsing into the street.

A loud cracking noise prompted three Fantastic Furniture employees to run out of the building right before the roof collapsed inside the showroom, Fresno Fire battalion Chief Thomas 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 in 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

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