Anchorage officials report a second building collapse this weekend with no injuries

caution tape around a commercial building
Anchorage emergency crews responded to a partial building collapse early Sunday, March 5, 2023, near Dowling Road and C Street. (Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage emergency crews responded to a partial building collapse early Sunday near Dowling Road and C Street. The commercial building was not occupied at the time, said a statement from the Anchorage Fire Department.

This is the second reported commercial building collapse in Anchorage in less than 24 hours. No one was injured in either, said the fire department.

City building engineers are still evaluating the factors behind the collapses. But, the fire department said, the incidents should serve as a reminder to building owners to evaluate the amount of snow and ice build-up on roofs.

“Recent winds may have moved snow from adjacent roofs, freeze thaw cycles may have obstructed drains, and other changes may have occurred that affected building loads,” said the department’s statement. “If in doubt or concerned, building owners should contact a building engineer to evaluate their structure.”

The Sunday collapse occurred at a building that houses Quality Transmission Service, an auto repair shop. Anchorage Fire Department Assistant Chief Alex Boyd described it as a flat roof commercial building built in the 1970s or 1980s. 

Anchorage police were initially called to the building shortly after midnight to investigate a possible burglar alarm and found there had been a collapse.

The collapse on Saturday happened near 6th Avenue and Ingra Street, and the businesses in that building were also closed at the time, said the fire department.

Anchorage has had above-average snowfall this winter. Less than a month ago, another roof collapsed in Anchorage, this one at a CrossFit studio. It left one person dead. Ice accumulation may have contributed to that collapse, officials said.

The fire department cautioned residents that signs of a building overload include sagging, new or worsening cracks, “nail pop” on the finished surfaces and doors or windows that have become difficult to open or close. If you believe a collapse is imminent, evacuate the building and call 911, said the fire department.

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