The roof of the Erie Premier Sports complex started caving in around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. Inside, about 25 players and coaches were getting soccer practice underway.
"If it would've been a couple hours later, there probably would've been ten times more people here," said Pedro Argaez, the building's owner.
Luckily there no major injuries to anyone inside the Millcreek Twp. building. Firefighters told Erie News Now that everyone made it out safely before they even arrived on the scene.
"Most of the collapse occurred on the south end of the building and not actually at the soccer field inside itself," said Deputy Chief James Rosenbaum of the West Ridge Fire Department.
The collapse crushing the complex's offices and entry way. Outside, the roof remains buckled; the dome is still standing.
Investigators said the owners had the snow removed off the collapsed part of the building in recent days. But the melted snow had slid back onto that area.
"The front area, the structure is very unstable and is still moving as we speak," said Matt Exley, Millcreek Twp. emergency management coordinator.
Exley says the building was up to code. The complex has an adequate number of emergency exit doors, allowing everyone to escape in time, he added.
"This is one of those cases were the code saved lives, most likely," Exley said.
The building isn't being considered a total loss. Now, owners of Erie Premier Sports will shift their practices and matches to their Erie location, located at 3515 McClelland Ave. It's unclear how long it will take to repair the Millcreek location.
"We are very confident that it will be restored appropriately with insurance companies in Millcreek and everybody involved in that process," Argaez said.
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