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Roof collapses follow wet snowstorm

HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Heavy wet snow that fell on New England in the most recent storm brought roofs down on many flat-topped buildings, authorities said.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported from building collapses.

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The storm moved up from the south Wednesday, dumping a foot or more of snow from Washington to Boston before heading into Canada Thursday. The snow, mixed in some areas with rain or sleet, was exceptionally heavy and often fell on top of snow left over from earlier storms.

In Lynn, Mass., two men were trapped in a car for 2 hours after a warehouse roof came down Thursday morning, The Item reported. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the top of the car to extricate them.

"They were very calm. I can't begin to say how lucky they are," Deputy Fire Chief James McDonald said.

In Manchester, Conn., two classic cars were damaged at Lou's Auto Sales and Upholstery. Lou Meloni told The Hartford Courant his business was in ruins.

A neighbor who heard the roof coming down early Friday said it sounded like a car crash.

In Willimantic, Conn., a warehouse converted to a Pentecostal church was condemned after the roof caved in Thursday. Four roof collapses were reported in Portland, Conn., on the Connecticut River, and one in Meriden.

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Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener said roofs should be cleared of snow and ice. He also anyone worried about structural damage should be prepared to leave immediately if there are signs a building has shifted.

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