Falling ice, melting snow pose risk as temperatures rise

Chicagoans urged to take precautions as massive snowfall starts to melt

ByJessica D'Onofrio and Alexis McAdams via WLS logo
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
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The heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures have led to nearly 20 roof and building in collapses in the past few weeks.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gas stations, homes, and other buildings across Chicago and the suburbs are dealing with the dangers of heavy snow and falling ice.

New surveillance video captures the moment a canopy at a suburban Des Plaines gas station collapsed early Monday morning.

Cameras were rolling at the Pantry N' More across the street as the weight of the record snowfall and heavy ice proved to be just too much for the roof.

WATCH: Surveillance video shows gas station roof collapse

Des Plaines firefighters rushed to the Mobil on the corner of Ballard and Potter Road just after midnight.

"We did send an ambulance because we were not sure if anyone was out there getting fuel but we found that no one was getting gas or beneath the canopy," said Deputy Chief Peter Dyer, Des Plaines Fire Department.

The power to the fuel pumps was shut off until the debris is cleared and equipment inspected, he said. The Des Plaines Building Department and Fire Prevention Bureau were investigating the collapse.

RELATED: Mobil gas station canopy collapses under snow in Elmwood Park

Jason Kos went to the 7-Eleven Mobile station to take pictures this morning.

"I won't bring my kids with me to go get gas anymore," Kos said. "We haven't seen anything yet. Once it starts melting and freezing, it's gonna be worse."

The heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures have led to nearly 20 roof and building in collapses in the past few weeks. Two more, both at vacant buildings, were reported overnight after another inch or so of snow fell on parts of Chicago.

RELATED: Awning collapses at Club Hawthorne Chicago in Pullman, killing man

The first collapse was reported about 3:15 a.m. in the Canaryville neighborhood. Crews found a caved-in roof in the 500 block of West 44th Street, and ordered the building to be demolished, according to Chicago fire spokesman Larry Merritt.

Firefighters said the house was vacant. The second floor fell onto the first like a pancake.

RELATED: How much snow can a roof hold? Estimate the weight on top of your home

Another cave-in was reported about 6:15 a.m. in the South Chicago neighborhood. Crews found a collapsed roof in the 8500 block of South Commercial Avenue, according to Department of Buildings spokeswoman Mimi Simon.

No one was hurt in either incident, Merritt said.

A garage collapsed near Humboldt Park at Richmond and Bloomingdale, also with no injuries reported.

RELATED: Man trapped in South Deering garage for 2 hours after cave-in

On Feb. 17, a man died after a snow-covered awning collapsed on him and another person at an off-track betting site on the Far South Side.

"We see icicles falling all the time," said Michael Jett.

Ice shattered a truck driver's windshield as he was passing under the CTA L tracks on Cermak near Wabash.

He suffered some cuts to his face from flying glass. The area had to be closed temporarily.

CFD warns people to stay off ice

In Hoffman Estates, large sheets of ice that formed on top of solar panels slid off and smashed onto the cars below.

Resident Marko Popovic said the ice badly damaged two of his cars. While scary, he said he was glad no one was injured.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.