Nobody trapped in Salvation Army collapse

Local firefighters worked late into the night Friday searching for a patron they feared might have been buried under rubble from a collapsed second story at the Salvation Army’s Ute Street store. But after several hours of searching, rescuers determined everyone had gotten out.

Firefighters had moved slowly and carefully through rubble for hours in search of a possible shopper who might have been trapped after thrift store collapsed at about 3p.m. Friday.

Spokesman Mike Page of the Grand Junction Fire Department said some employees of the store located at 1308 Ute Ave. feared there may be one patron not accounted for, but later determined no one was inside. Sixteen store employees and six patrons had made it out safely after about one-fourth of the second story’s south side collapsed. The upstairs contained several stored items.

The second story fell into the Christmas decoration section and the employee break room.

Traffic was closed on Ute Avenue as firefighters hauled items out of the store to search for anyone who may have been trapped inside. Firefighters had shored up some of the fallen debris, allowing them to search faster. They were about 65 percent through it all by 8:30 p.m., Page said.

Page said rescue workers were using thermo-imaging scanners and search dogs in an attempt to locate anyone beneath the rubble.

UPDATED: 9:45 p.m. Friday.


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