River Fitness in Tappahannock noticed something odd about the roof above the pool section of the building: it was warped. It wasn’t to an extent that someone would notice it without knowing what to look for, but it was there all the same. On Friday, March 23, they closed the pool – and called their insurance company to make sure they had every box checked off. Then the building collapsed.
No one was in the pool building when tiles started falling and no one was inside when the building fell inward right into the water. The Tappahannock–Essex Volunteer Fire Department was called at 12:17 p.m. and on the scene moments later. “We’re lucky they saw the roof starting to change,” said Fire Chief Paul Richardson. “They isolated that part of the building and no one was inside when it collapsed.”
“I think it was the weight of the snow,” Richardson continued. “With the last snow storm we had, the roof buckled and collapsed.” The fire department called in the Essex County building inspector and checked the area for any chemical leaks. “They do have chlorine on site,” he said, and confirmed that the chemical storage was still intact and contained.
“It wasn’t that loud,” said Kim Helwig, Director of River Fitness. “We had everything already shut down for repairs. We had two thousand dollars worth of chemicals come just this week that were stored in there.
“On Friday we noticed a slight dip in the roof, probably from the snow on Wednesday, and we went ahead and closed the whole section down.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northern Neck Newspaper 3/28/18