Authorities still don’t know what caused the roof to cave in at a men’s clothing store on Saturday afternoon.
Evergreen Park Fire Chief Ron Kleinhaus said that a bowstring roof truss at the Casual Male XL store at 2627 W. 95th St. failed and took the roof down with it. What exactly caused the truss to weaken is under investigation.
“It was probably fatigue but I’m not an engineer,” Kleinhaus said. “That may be a possible cause.”
Firefighters rushed to the scene around 1:26 p.m. Saturday. An employee at the adjacent Sherwin Williams paint store told Patch she heard what sounded like a loud boom and then watched smoke fill the paint store’s warehouse. The employee and a customer both escaped from the paint store without injury.
Next door at Casual Male, a lone employee was able to escape through the rear door. She too, was not injured.
Kleinhaus said two large air-conditioning units sat on the roof but “the owner said they had been up there for 20 years.”
Excessive snow and water load have been ruled out as well because of the persistent drought. Asked if firefighters had seen evidence of dry rot, Kleinhaus said the roof had a rubber membrane covering.
“When the truss fell everything came down on top of it,” the fire chief said. “We can see that the roof collapsed but I can’t tell you why.”
The village has been in contact with the building owner who was told to get a report from his insurance company.
We’re not investigating anymore,” Kleinhaus said. “The building department will get whatever copies they need from the owner on what they want to do with the building.”
On Sunday afternoon, the Casual Male XL store was boarded up. A sign on the side of Sherwin Williams said the store would be closed indefinitely and instructed customers to visit the store at 8517 S. Pulaski Road.