Rainstorm causes partial roof collapse at Hensall’s General Coach

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Members of the Hensall Fire Department were on scene at Hensall’s General Coach Canada on the night of Aug. 3 after a partial roof collapse over the boiler and compressor room at the company’s Mill Street facility.

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While there were workers in another part of the building during the incident, fire chief Dave Renner said there were no injuries and he attributed the damage to the volume of water from that evening’s rainstorm.

Renner said the fire department was called to the scene at about 7:20 pm

Speaking to the Times-Advance at about 8:45 pm, Renner said firefighters were on scene cleaning up and making sure the rest of the building was secure. He said there was some damage inside the building.

General Coach president Roger Faulkner told the TA on the morning of Aug. 4 that he expected the company would be “back up and running” on the morning of Aug. 5. He said the mess had basically already been cleaned up and the company had plans to rent a compressor. He predicted the company would be “good to go first thing in the morning.”

The damage was contained to the portion above the boiler/compressor room, Faulkner said. The building was constructed in 1950, and Faulkner said it could not withstand the weight of the water from the rainfall.

“The beams just couldn’t take it, and it just collapsed,” he said. “Blew the doors right off.”

Faulkner said the night shift was working at the time and evacuated immediately. When the power was disrupted, alarms went off notifying the fire department.

“Nobody was hurt, which is a good thing,” he said.

General Coach manufactures mobile homes, park models, trailers and rental units and has been in the RV business in Hensall since 1950. Its trailers have been used by actors and crew members on television and movie sets in Canada and Europe in productions such as The Crown , Bridgerton, Bohemian Rhapsody and Jurassic World.

The Brucefield Fire Department also initially responded to the scene on Aug. 3, Renner said.

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