Fire officials in Teton County have been busy today, with a smoking and sparking gutter, a pair of gas leaks and a damaged roof at Walk Festival Hall.
According to Teton Village Fire Chief Kevin Salava, a cornice fell from the concert hall's main roof onto a lower roof near the ticket window on the north side of the building near the Bridger Gondola, causing minor roof damage but no injuries.
“It’s not going to be as damaging and awful than if it was the big part,” Teton County Fire Marshal Kathy Clay said. “But it means everyone needs to think about their snow loads.”
Clay said a building inspector would go to Walk Festival Hall on Tuesday morning to assess the damage and that no one would be allowed in the building until then.
The immense valley snowfall this winter has created situations in which roofs are carrying large amounts of heavy snow, which can wreak havoc in many ways. In addition to the roof collapse Monday, fire officials responded to a call at Eagle Village in the Smith’s plaza in which a heat tape had shorted out and was causing visible smoke and sparks.
“The snow load pushed the heat tape down into the gutter,” Clay said. “My guess is it was metal against metal, and the tape was arcing inside the metal gutter. Crews checked every inch of the building, particularly the attic, and there was no fire.”
The two gas calls fire personnel responded to were leaks likely caused by heavy snow load pushing down on regulators, which strains the gas lines and causes them to break. Clay asked valley residents to help fire officials by clearing snow from gas regulators, rooftops and fire hydrants near their houses.
— Emily Mieure contributed to this report.