Everyone safe following ceiling collapse

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A ceiling collapse at an assisted-living center in Bountiful Tuesday evening forced the evacuation of everyone inside. Bountiful police say the collapse was caused by a water leak.

That may not sound bad, but the leak caused a piece of ceiling the size of a fire truck to collapse.

In wheelchairs and with walkers, residents of Legacy House Assisted Living Center were evacuated. Eva Woolf was just getting into bed when she was helped outside.

"I thought another false alarm, and they started pounding on the door telling me to grab my coat," Woolf said. "I was in my nightgown, so I grabbed my robe."

Inside, chunks of ceiling rest on chairs and exercise equipment in the 2nd floor common room. Bountiful police say no one was injured. "Everyone's accounted for. I believe 97 people were moved to the church," Sgt. Ed Biehler said.

That church was quickly transformed into a shelter. Firefighters carried oxygen tanks inside, and nurses ran medication and blankets back and forth as family members arrived to check on loved ones.

"I had a note from my wife that there had been a cave-in, and my sister is here," Steven Nielson said.

Shella Shingleton, who's mother lives in the center, said, "The residents look a little nervous. I've had a couple of them come up to me and say: ‘Are you my daughter?' because they're waiting for family."

Singleton connected with her mom and got her two dogs. She plans on her mom staying with her at least for the night.

"I understand it happened in the center of the building at that time. I would say people were in the dining room eating, so I'm surprised no one was hurt," she said.

A lot of the residents we spoke to tonight wanted to pass along their thanks to the many people who stopped to help. They say many were assisting them across the street; others brought food and blankets.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com


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Sarah Dallof


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