19th snow-covered roof collapses in Chicago, this time in Gresham

No one was hurt in the latest collapse, a vacant building in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue.

SHARE 19th snow-covered roof collapses in Chicago, this time in Gresham
Firefighters responded Feb. 18 to a collapse in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue.

Firefighters responded Feb. 18 to a collapse in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue.

Chicago Fire Department

A snow-covered roof was found collapsed Thursday in Gresham on the South Side —the 19th structure to collapse in Chicago in a string of snow-related cave-ins that has left one man dead.

No one was hurt in the latest collapse, a vacant building in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

It was the second recent cave-in on the same block, CFD spokesman Larry Langford said.

“It’s the same thing:An old building, just ripe for snow-collapse,” Langford said. “This one will probably have to be demolished.”

Firefighters responded Feb. 18 to a collapse in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue.

Firefighters responded Feb. 18 to a collapse in the 8200 block of South Racine Avenue.

Chicago Fire Department

At least 19 buildings have collapsed in Chicago during the recent stretch of snowfall, Langford said. The cave-ins have been mostly at abandoned buildings, but they also included garages and other structures.

On Wednesday, Chicago saw its first fatality from a snow-related collapse after an awning fell on two people at an off-track betting site in Pullman. Firefighters dug out Randy Pate Sr., 54, who later died at a hospital.

Langford said there were no injuries in the other collapses.

“These buildings are coming down in traveled alleys. It’s fortunate no one was walking or driving down the alley,” Langford said. He recalled one collapse at 91st Street and Halsted that damaged two parked cars Tuesday.

Langford said he hasn’t seen a similar string of building collapses since the blizzard of 1967, when a record-setting 23 inches of snow fell on Chicago.

In the last three weeks, over 34 inches of snow fell on O’Hare Airport — the snowiest three-week stretch since 1979, according to the National Weather Service. The danger of heavy snow on roofs has been compounded by two consecutive weeks of below-freezing temperatures. Chicago hasn’t risen above 32 degrees since Feb. 4, according to the weather service.

But forecasters say the bone-chilling cold could end in the next week. The forecast calls for the city to reach 32 degrees on Sunday, and possibly the 40s at the start of next week.

The Latest
The beloved lakefront event will take place Aug. 20-21, centered at North Avenue Beach.
About 7:30 p.m., an “all-clear” was given, according to a statement from the Chicago Zoological Society.
The Cubs played game No. 81 on Tuesday against the Brewers, so it’s time to dole out midseason awards.