Norwood Office Roof Collapses, Several Escape

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV

NORWOOD (CBS) – When employees at Lifeworks heard the roof groaning this morning, they immediately thought about their clients: adults who are developmentally disabled.

“We train all the time for fire or other emergencies,” said Lifeworks manager Dan Burke. “So our coaches just led them out of the building to safety.”

Moments later, the roof caved in.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports.

Firefighters from Norwood were called, and within seconds Capt. George Geary was entering the office to shut down the alarm system. Just as he got to the wall panel, there was a second collapse, pinning him against the wall.

“Yea, I was a little frightened,” he said, “but our guys pushed through the door, and got me out. Then, we made sure everyone was out of the building.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

At the time of the collapse, two workers were on the roof with snowblowers, trying to get rid of the heavy, wet snow.

Fire Chief Mike Howard suspects they may have inadvertently contributed: “They were blowing the snow into a pile, working toward he edges of the building. But they never made it.”

Still, no one was injured, and the 40 mentally-challenged adults at Lifeworks were taken to the Westwood offices.

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