Bristol's Bell Tower roof caves in during storm
No one is injured in the vacant section of the building; plaza remains closed
The storm that lashed Bristol Tuesday wasn’t exactly the serious blizzard it was originally forecast to be once temperatures warmed and the snow turned to rain. But the storm didn’t leave without inflicting some damage.
A portion of the roof of Bellower Plaza on Metacom Avenue caved in during the storm Tuesday evening, collapsing under the weight of ice, snow and rain. The cave-in, over a former karate studio, occurred in a vacant part of the plaza, and no injuries were reported, according to Bristol Fire Battalion Chief Jim Vieira.
The entire plaza was roped off Wednesday morning, from Rite Aid on the north end to just before the Citizen’s Bank on the south end. The ordinarily busy parking lot was virtually empty as businesses were closed.
Bristol Building Inspector Richard Pimenta spent Wednesday morning with building engineers assessing the damage to determine when the plaza can safely open. Police Capt. Brian Burke said there was no timetable for the reopening that he was aware of as of late Wednesday morning.
It’s not the first time the plaza has been evacuated after a structural failure. Building officials shut down the plaza in March 2015 after a rood collapse, also blamed on the weight of melting ice and snow.
Check with eastbayri.com for updates as they become available.