Snow Blamed for Partial Collapse

Snow Blamed for Partial Collapse

At approximately 4:39 am on April 1, 2023 the Rice Lake Fire Department was dispatched for a fire alarm at Quanex Building Products Corporation at 311 West Coleman Street, in the City of Rice Lake.

Upon arrival of the first fire department unit at approximately 4:45 am, plant personnel were on scene and had found the sprinkler system activated but no fire was present. Plant personnel were actively shutting down the sprinkler system upon our arrival. Upon further investigation, natural gas was detected by fire department personnel. It was then found that an approximately 30’ x 30’ area of the roof was starting to collapse and had broken a gas line and a sprinkler line.

Fire department personnel were able to safely locate a shut off to shut down the gas leak and ventilate the structure to safe levels. The fire department remained on scene until the gas company was able to further secure the gas supply to the facility. Plant personnel advised us that a construction company was enroute to secure the partially collapsed area of the structure. Fire units were placed back in service at approximately 7:20 am.

The heavy snow load on the building appears to be the cause of the partial roof collapse. 13 firefighters from the Rice Lake Fire Department were utilized during the incident. One engine was utilized for this incident. We Energies responded to secure the gas supply to the facility.

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