EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 11, 2013

Roof collapse forces evacuation of apartments

By Bill Cantwell

---- — LAWRENCE — A roof collapse at a 30-unit apartment building forced several people from their homes, and American Red Cross volunteers are setting up an emergency shelter in a nearby school.

It did not appear anyone in the building was seriously hurt. At 8:15 tonight, residents were being allowed to come and go from their apartments to remove their possessions.

One tenant told The Eagle-Tribune that earlier today, a man noticed water leaking through the ceiling of his apartment. That apparently led to a safety review of the roof and evacuation of the building.

The building is at 6 Inman St., across the street from the former Sacred Heart Church. The shelter is at the South Lawrence East Elementary/Middle School, 165 Crawford St.

Ashley Studley, communications manager for American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, said the organization is helping at least five families that need shelter. She said five of the apartments in the building were vacant. She did not know the specific number of people who were evacuated from the apartment building.

The Red Cross has provided shelter to more than 1,300 people affected by the blizzard, most of them forced out of their homes by power failures, Studley said.

A complete report will appear in Tuesday's edition of The Eagle-Tribune.