'It was terrifying': Families displaced when Glen Rock apartment roof collapses

Shelly Brown awoke Friday, May 18, to her children screaming and the roof of her apartment complex caving in. She has lupus; her two children have special needs.

Brown and her family were among more than 30 people who were displaced following a roof collapse at an apartment building in Glen Rock, according to officials.

Southern Regional Police Chief Jim Boddington said an apartment building at 100 School St. was evacuated Friday morning after the roof collapsed.

Upon awakening to screams and a collapsing ceiling, Brown and her boyfriend, both of Glen Rock, gathered their two children and one of their three cats and frantically evacuated the complex.

Shelly Brown (far left),  who had to evacuate her Glen Rock apartment after the roof collapsed on Friday, May 18, 2018, with her son, Gavin, and mother, Deborah. Brown lives with her boyfriend and two children. Not pictured: Leah, her daughter. Logan Hullinger photo

"It was terrifying," Brown said later Friday morning at a former child care center on Water Street, where her family was staying while waiting for help. "We were in the apartment sleeping and everything came crashing in: bricks, the ceiling, just absolutely everything."

This isn't a new issue, Brown added. She, along with other tenants, have reported leaks to their realty agent, Southern Management Realty, over the past year.

"My closet ceiling has caved in multiple times over the past year, but nothing was done," she said. "They just told us the roof was replaced a year ago, but that changed nothing."

"We lost everything, and we don't have renter's insurance," she said. "We almost died. Thank God for that, but we still lost everything. We just watched our belongings float away."

Her other two cats are yet to be found.

Kim Maiolo, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Central PA, said Friday that agency officials are working with Glen Rock Emmanuel United Methodist Church and borough officials to provide services to the 33 people displaced in the collapse.

Maiolo said there were 22 adults and 11 children displaced. She said the Red Cross is assisting with food, clothing, shelter and helping to replace lost medication.

Southern Regional Police Chief Jim Boddington said an apartment building at 100 School St. was evacuated in the morning of Friday, May18, after water caused the roof to collapse. Bill Kalina photo

The collapse: Shrewsbury Volunteer Fire Co. posted on its website that the department was sent to the building just before 4 a.m.

Fire officials from Glen Rock, Shrewsbury and Loganville as well as Southern Regional Police accounted for all residents who lived in the two-story apartment building, according to the fire company.

A 30-by-30-foot section of the roof collapsed into the second-floor apartments, the fire company said. Water on the roof flooded the second and first floors after the roof collapsed, according to fire officials.

The residents were taken to the Shrewsbury Township municipal building, and emergency management officials will assist those displaced, the fire company said.

The residents are not allowed back into their apartments until a structural engineer can determine if it is safe to enter, according to officials.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser