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Heavy snowfall collapses smalltown Utah fire station roof

Published January 29, 2010 5:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Henrieville Mayor David Roberts had just fired up the town tractor to clean off some snow-clogged sidewalks when he heard a crash, turned around and felt his heart sink.

The roof of the tiny Garfield County town's cinder block firehouse, apparently overburdened by some of the worst winter storms in local memory, had collapsed.

"The last few storms did it," Roberts said Friday. "They've just pounded us. We usually don't get much snow here, but this year it's been up above my waist. It was just too much for that roof, I guess."

Roberts added, "Got to tell you, I sure don't see this 'global warming' happening. It's been more like an ice age for us [this winter]."

The building itself, which sustained about $280,000 in damage, is insured. However, the contents -- including both of Henrieville's firetrucks and groundskeeping equipment for the community's city park -- were not covered.

The 180-resident burg, 15 miles east of Bryce Canyon, doesn't have money to replace the lost equipment.

"We're probably going to have to look around for some grants or donations to cover those," Roberts sighed. "We'll see."

No one was inside the building when the roof came down. Roberts had gone inside to fetch the snow-removal bladed tractor just 15 minutes before, though, so he counted himself lucky.

Roberts, who also serves on the fire department crew, said he's working out interim fire protection service with Tropic City, 7 miles away.