The Billings Food Bank's distribution center northeast of downtown suffered a partial roof collapse after nearly a foot and a half of snow fell in Billings over the past several days.

The Billings Fire Department responded Sunday at around 11:30 a.m. after a neighbor reported seeing debris falling into the alley next to the food bank. No one was inside the building at the time of the partial roof collapse, Billings Fire Batalion Chief Kevin Johnson said.

The alley, which connects the 200 blocks of North 16th and 17th streets, will be closed for the foreseeable future, Johnson said. Damage to at least on of the building's walls was extensive, he added, land will likely require that part of the storage building to be condemned and demolished before the alley can be safely reopened.

He said he couldn't be certain that the load of snow atop the roof was the cause of the collapse, noting that the subzero temperatures since Saturday night may have also played a role.

No food was being stored in that part of the building, food bank executive director Sheryle Shandy said. She declined to say what the storage space was being used for. Shandy also wasn't sure whether the nonprofit would attempt to rebuild that section of the distribution center.

"It just happened," Shandy said. "We're run by a board of directors, those decisions have not been made."


Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.