Heavy Rain Cause Building’s Roof Collapse

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Thursday night's torrential rain has caused an old downtown building’s roof to collapse. Traffic around the building detoured for the next few days.

Around 8 p.m., a big boom sent Dothan fire fighters to an old warehouse on the corner of South Saint Andrews and east Crawford Streets.

Upon arrival they found parts of the roof and everything under it are destroyed.

The building holds merchandise from H and H Doors and Hardware Inc.

But now, shattered glass lines the street; the stench of damp wood fills the air.

The roof of the old warehouse, which was once used to assemble Model T's in the early 1900's, has collapsed, in part because of Thursday night's heavy rain.

"It was running through, and about three feet deep," said Jim Hartzog, owner of warehouse.

Dothan Fire Marshall Capt. Chris Etheredge said, "The age of the building, the degradation of the roof structure, we did have a collapse, the drains were working just not able to shed the water fast enough to save the structure."

Inspectors walking through the building say a slow leak, and a sprinkler system only enhanced the severity of the cave in.

They say repairing the roof, would cost much more than removing the entire thing.

City of Dothan Building Inspector Aslam Rana said, “The building doesn't have to go the roof's structure has to go."

But that's not going to be the biggest change.

Officials say those who enjoy the area's nightlife on the weekend, may have to avoid certain areas.

Parts of the 100 block of south Saint Andrews are blocked off, and so is the 200 block of east Crawford Street.

"We feel like the structure of the building is safe for people passing by on the roadway, however pedestrian traffic should use caution and stay away from the building due to broken glass,” said Capt. Etheredge.

The broken window has been boarded up so passers-by can't vandalize it. Officials hope to have the blocked off areas clear by Monday. The owner of the building is looking at $50,000 to $60,000 in repairs.