2-28-15 – Location – Canton, Massachusetts – Incident – Ice Rink Roof Collapse

An early morning hockey practice turned into a scene out of a movie when the roof came crashing down on the rink.

Rink Roof Collapse

About 30 people including the players ranging in ages from 8 to 14 were inside Metropolis Skating Rink in Canton at the time.

Fire inspectors believe more than three feet of snow on one end of the building was too much for the roof to handle.

FOX25 is learning tonight the roof was inspected just a day prior to its collapse and there was concern about the amount of snow on the roof. But before anything could be done, a huge section of the roof came crashing down while a kid’s hockey team was starting their practice.

Nine-year old Kayden Sager, a goalie for the Norwood Nuggets, was just getting on the ice when he heard the first sounds of the roof giving away. He went from skating to running.

“I was looking back at the coaches to see if everyone was actually out of the building,” Sager said.

“I didn’t know what was happening so I was kinda freaked out,” said 11-year-old Daniel DiBlasi, a defenseman for the Nuggets.

DiBlasi remembers his coaches yelling “get off the ice.”

A huge section of roof at Metropolis Skating rink first buckled and cracked, then let go. Fire officials say the three feet of snow and ice on the far end of the roof became too heavy for the 40-year-old building. Coaches and parents were able to get everyone out, including the 20 or so 8 to 12-year-olds.

“They could feel the draft when the roof finally caved in,” said coach Mike Fanizzi. “They felt the stuff hitting their feet, couple of them knocked down. One kid had stuff blown into his eye.”

“[They were] half dressed, some with skates on,” Joe DiBlasi said. “Running across the parking lot.”

The state owns the rink but the town of Canton has a 25-year contract which requires it to operate and maintain the rink. The state says the rink was inspected the day before the collapse and Canton officials agreed the snow load on the roof needed to be addressed. But there was no decision to close the rink while that was being done.

“You know, someone could have really gotten hurt,” Joe DiBlasi said. “It’s a pretty bad thing and I’m glad everyone got out alright.”

The coaches say Saturday was supposed to be picture day for many of the teams so if this happened just a few hours later — there could have been 300 people inside. Gates and signs are now up around the parking lot to keep people away. The building is a complete loss.

The state owns 42 rinks, 34 of which are long term leases with operators like towns or other entities. The remaining rinks are operated by the state itself. The state says it is working with all of the operators to make sure snow loads are dealt with. The state did put out a release this past week about some of the rinks it owns and operates and how they shut down a couple while they were removing snow. The state says they have heard back from all 34 lease operators and they all say they are dealing with or have dealt with the snow.