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Barn Collapses On Cars, Boats, RVs In Spencer

By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV
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Barn collapse at Spencer Fairgrounds (credit: CBS)

Barn collapse at Spencer Fairgrounds (credit: CBS)

SPENCER (CBS) — Collectible cars are among causalities of a roof collapse at the Spencer Fairgrounds blamed on snow and ice.

“I’m amazed at how much damage was done in such a short amount of time,” said witness Harry Parker. He was trotting a pacer horse around the track about 10 to 20 feet from the barn when the collapsed occurred. At first, he heard what sounded like someone walking on the bleachers.

“All of a sudden, 10 seconds and it was done. Crashed and boom. That was it…like a bomb went off,” said Parker.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

Half of the roof on a 200-foot long cattle barn came down. No one was inside, but about 140 cars, boats, RVs and jet skis were being stored there, including Mark Blanchard’s collectible Mustang GT.

“I stored the car in there this fall. First time I’ve ever done it. It actually worked out well over here, but not this time,” said Blanchard whose Mustang is insured.

Storage fees collected for space in the barn help pay expenses for the Spencer Fair on Labor Day weekend which attracts about 30,000 people a year.

Dave Stark, who’s in charge of the storage space, says the barn’s insured but people who rent space in it sign a damage waiver and some have their own insurance. Stark says the fair needs to find a way to make up the funds it raised with the barn. “What else can we do? It’s an act of God, and what can we do after that?” he asked.

Tom Hubacz says he built the barn with his father in 1980 and there had never been a problem in more than 30 years. “We meet or exceed all building codes. I mean, we just like to do a good job,” said Hubacz.

People associated with the fairgrounds say they’re just thankful no one was hurt and that no one has lost work. The barn’s been called unsafe by the local building inspector. Fairground officials are working with owners of the cars, boats and RVs to figure out what to do next.

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