Employees Run For Their Lives As Furniture Store Roof Collapses

Two lanes of Blackstone Avenue in Central Fresno are shut down after the roof of a building came tumbling down. It happened at "Fantastic Furniture" on Blackstone Avenue just south of Shields. Only one lane of traffic is open in the southbound lanes.

Firefighters say they were called to the furniture store around 2-p.m. on Monday when employees started hearing cracking noises. A few minutes later employees ran out of the store as the roof collapsed.

"I just heard the sound of the roof moving, like when it's shaking," says 'Fantastic Furniture" employee Oscar Reynoso, "When I was living in Los Angeles I learned what shaking was like and when I heard the building moving we ran outside."

Reynoso was one of three employees inside the store when the roof collapsed. There were no customers inside. Firefighters say one of the roof's support beams cracked. The roof and the second floor of the building crashed to the first floor.

"It looks like a furniture showroom with a roof sitting on top of it," says Battalion Chief Thomas Tope from the Fresno Fire Department.

Firefighters say they're worried that the building will collapse onto the street and into neighboring businesses. Since the building is unstable no one is allowed in the furniture store.

A security guard will be outside 'Fantastic Furniture' to make sure that nobody tries to steal from the store.

An inspector has to check the building and if it needs to be demolished, it will have to be torn down this week. The owner is responsible for all demolition costs.