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UPDATE: Two workers escape building after wind blows off roof

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West Fargo Fire and F-M Ambulance respond to a roof collapse at RJ Corman Railroad Services at 2216 Main Ave. E. in West Fargo on Thursday, March 14, 2019. David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

WEST FARGO — Two employees who were momentarily trapped when the wind blew off part of a roof on a building were able to escape Thursday, March 14, around 3 p.m.

West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller said two employees of R.J. Corman Railroad Services at 2216 Main Ave. were evacuated by the time rescue crews arrived.

The gusty, strong north winds lifted off part of the roof on the building, which had already sustained damage on Sunday when snow caused a partial collapse of the sheet metal roof with wood rafters.

Fuller said the two employees were in the building removing equipment when the winds grabbed a hold of the rafters and sent them flying "like a giant sail" into the building. While fire crews were on the scene, another part of the roof fell because of high winds.

He said there were still concerns that the roof remaining on the southern part of the building might come loose as well and possibly damage nearby Fargo Escape Room or Advanced Auto Body and Glass, even blow out on to Main Avenue. It was already flapping in the wind when crews were on the scene.

"We'll be keeping an eye on it," he said.

Fuller said the incident wasn't caused by a heavy snow load as has been occurring on many buildings this past week. "There was no snow left on it," he said.

However, on Sunday the building's middle part of the roof collapsed due to the snow load.

The building is an office and workshop for the company.

Fuller said his department worked on shutting off the utilities and securing acetylene tanks to make sure they didn't leak.