Snow collapses roof of Ellicott City antique store

February 12, 2010|By Larry Carson | Baltimore Sun reporter

A heavy accumulation of snow caused the roof to collapse Friday on an 1850 wooden building in historic Ellicott City that houses the Wagon Wheel Antique Shop.

No one was inside, but Ed Crowl, who owns both the store and the building, said the exterior wall of the two-story building buckled out from the weight and the flat roof fell in on the top floor. The building is located on Tiber Alley, a small cobblestone side street a half-block off Main Street's southern end, near the Patapsco River.

"I haven't been open for two weeks because of the snow," Crowl, 68, of Catonsville said, adding that he's still somewhat in shock. Crowl said he's owned the store for 40 years.

Crowl said authorities called him Friday afternoon with the news, but they would not let him try to retrieve any of his antiques because of the danger of a further collapse. Asked if he had insurance, Crowl said, "I hope I do."

His prized posession, Crowl said, is an 1850 horse drawn hearse. "I've had two floods and a fire but this is the worst thing that can happen," he said.

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