A man was injured Sunday afternoon when a snow-covered canopy over gas pumps collapsed on his vehicle at Mega Holiday, 2230 Birch St.
“He said he heard noises above him and looked ahead and people were running away,” said Joe Kelly, Eau Claire Fire & Rescue battalion chief. “He tucked back inside (the car.)”
The man was able to free himself from the car after the collapse, Kelly said, and was transported to a hospital with minor injuries.
Eau Claire police looked at surveillance camera footage and determined no other people were under the wreckage.
The collapse was reported at 12:28 p.m.
“I’ve been here for 20 years, and I’ve never seen something like this,” said fire Capt. Jamie Burkhardt, shaking his head as he watched workers discuss how to remove remnants of the roof. “We’re lucky there weren’t more people pumping gas underneath. This could’ve been a disaster.”
Mike Buck, CEO of Mega Co-Op, which owns the Holiday station, said none of the employees inside the store witnessed the collapse but heard crashing sounds as it occurred. The station will likely remain closed for a few weeks, Buck said, as they clean up what remains of the overhang and work to restore it.
“Our priority is to keep everybody safe,” Buck said, noting he’s thankful there weren’t more people underneath the overhang. “This is yet another consequence of wet, heavy snow.”
City Fire & Rescue workers responded to two other collapses on Sunday.
A roof collapsed at A to Z Towing at 2600 Mercantile Drive. The site is near Festival Foods on the city’s west side.
A trailer home on Seymour Road also had a roof collapse, Kelly said, though it may have happened before Sunday.
Kelly recommended home and business owners keep their roofs as clear of snow as possible, adding many people have been clearing their buildings.
“You can tell people are taking notice of it,” Kelly said. “I’ve never seen so many roofs raked or shoveled in my life. They see the possible circumstances.”