Building collapses minutes after inspectors halt construction

MEDINA, Ohio - Building inspectors cleared a work crew out from under a newly raised roof just minutes before the roof fell in and part of the walls collapsed, inspectors said.

Local contractors were watching the construction site because the trusses for the roof were bowing, said Art Verdoorn, Medina County building inspector. Verdoorn received an anonymous call, as did the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Cleveland office.

Inspectors from both agencies showed up last Monday and issued an order to stop the work about 10 minutes before the collapse. Verdoorn estimated a crew of six workers was cleared out.

Standard Building Co. of Atlanta requested the building permit, Verdoorn said. A message seeking comment from the company was left Wednesday.

Workers were constructing a building for the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, which will have space for 130 children when it opens in the fall, said Lisa Fisher, marketing manager for the Pennsylvania-based private preschool company.

Goddard's construction manager will meet with OSHA, which is investigating, and a structural engineer Wednesday at the site, Fisher said. Seventeen trusses fell, but Fisher said she was unsure what caused the collapse.

Verdoorn said the building wasn't braced correctly.

Standard Building was fined $1,200 for failing to provide a safe work environment for employees after a worker in Georgia was struck by a forklift, an OSHA spokesman said.

Medina is about 25 miles south of Cleveland.

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