Colwood businesses forced out after roof collapses

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WatchTwo businesses have been forced to leave temporarily after a roof collapsed in Colwood after heavy rain.

A roof that collapsed in a Colwood shopping centre has forced two businesses to leave until the building can be found safe.

The ONNI Group, who owns the Colwood Corners property on 1905 Sooke Road, says at 3 a.m. fire crews told them a portion of the building’s roof had collapsed.

The section that collapsed is vacant and no one was injured. But First Choice Haircutters and Kathy’s Mutt Cuts have both been forced to leave as a precautionary measure.

The Colwood Fire Department says their initial observation was that a build up of water contributed to the collapse, but the ONNI Group will be bringing in a structural engineering company to help with the investigation.

“We continue to investigate the [cause of] this collapse. At Onni, the safety of our employees, neighbours, and tenants is of the utmost importance, and we take all necessary measures to ensure their ongoing safety,” Duncan Wlodarczak of ONNI GROUP said in a statement.

The business owners and staff will not be allowed back until engineers are able to determine the rest of the building is safe.

“One of my customers phoned me and told me the roof caved… now I can’t go in can’t phone any customers to let them know,” said Kathy Underwood, the owner of the dog grooming business.

“Luckily we are closed Monday and Tuesday, thank god no one was hurt.”

Both businesses are worried about the closure.

“They’re gonna either drive down and find out that we’re closed or hopefully some people get it on messenger, or they see the news that it’s all boarded up and put two and two together and think that we’re closed,” said the owner of Kathy’s Mutt Cutters

“It’s a very good location and its going to hurt us huge,” said Shannon Taylor, the district manager with First Choice Haircutters.

“There are nine staff that work in that location… we have to find them other places if we can’t come back in the next few days… it could be very detrimental to business.”

Taylor said she was told by construction crews on scene that the collapse was due to rain.

The attached London Drugs is open for business, as its portion of the roof is not impacted.

The property is slated for development by ONNI in the future.

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