Friday, December 6, 2013
Kennebec Journal staff report
HALLOWELL — Three people reportedly escaped unharmed when the roof of the Kennebec Ice Arena collapsed just after 3 p.m. today.
No injuries were reported.
The entire length of the 240-foot-long building roof collapsed, and emergency officials were evaluating the building and preparing to call engineers to see if it was safe to enter and how to proceed.
Structural steel girders on the exterior were torn from the ground and ceiling tiles littered the Whitten Road parking lot.
Insulation was spotted 35 feet high in a tree.
The exterior blue metal siding was ripped out and other insulation exposed. Concrete walls 10-15 feet high were cracked and broken in several different areas.
The Whitten Road arena, which opened in 1970, was home to a number of high school and club hockey teams and offered public skating sessions as well.
Hallowell police, Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette, Kennebec County Emergency Management Director Richard Beausoleil and Department of Environmental Protection workers were at the scene.
Maureen Aucoin, Hallowell's code enforcement officer, saw the building shortly after the roof buckled. "It's so fortunate no one got hurt," she said. "It's amazing."