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Snow collapses roof; residents unharmed

Under pressure from more than 20 inches of snow, a pitched roof collapsed and flattened a two-story Henniker home yesterday evening. Both Carl Hamel Sr. and Patricia Hamel, residents of 177 Tanglewood Drive, were uninjured.

“It was a two-story house, now it looks like a flat-roof, one-story house,” said Henniker Fire and Rescue Capt. Mick Costello.

At the time of collapse, about 4:30 p.m., one resident was outside and the other, who was in the home, was able to get out through a door, said Costello. They are both retired.

Ten members of fire and rescue arrived on the scene shortly after to block the road in front of the home and shut off utilities. They deemed the home unsafe to be in.

PSNH and the Henniker police were also on scene, said Costello.

Heavy snowfall coupled with freezing rain this week prompted state Fire Marshal William Degnan to urge residents to clear their roofs to prevent collapse. In a written statement released Wednesday, he said roofs “may collapse with little or no warning” and that not only flat roofs are in danger. Warning signs may include severe leakage, deformities in ceiling supports or buckling of walls, he said.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@

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