Snow blamed in Bucks County roof collapse

CHURCHVILLE, Pa. - February 16, 2014

The weight of snow that accumulated over the past several weeks apparently caused the collapse in the unit block of Chapel Drive.

Neighbors out shoveling during the lull in Thursday's storm describe hearing a loud crash around 3:00 p.m.

"My wife said, 'I thought I saw a ladder falling.' I went to check to see if someone fell off a ladder and there it was," said Lawrence Harty.

The owners of the home, Donald and Denise Queeney, weren't home at the time.

No one was injured when the chimney toppled, the front wall buckled and the roof came crashing through a second-floor bedroom.

However neighbors who have similar houses in the same development say this frightening sight has them nervous about the structural integrity of their own homes.

"Ever since, I've been on my roof, trying to clean off my roof. (The houses) are the same year and the same builder" said Michael Kaiser.

The consequences of having snow on your roof can be dangerous. However climbing up to remove the snow isn't good either. The weight of a person could be enough to trigger a collapse and you could also slip and fall.

Instead, experts suggest using a telescoping roof rake to clear snow from the roof while you're standing safely on the ground. Just be sure to check that you're not hitting any nearby power lines, and work on the diagonal.

"As long as you put it on a swing angle, it's plastic so you don't have to worry about gauging your roof, pull on a down slant and you'll be fine," said Matt Dickson, Home Depot.

Home Depot sells one model for just under $50. However like salt and other snow supplies, roof rakes are in short supply in local stores and you may have to order one online.

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