May 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Brunswick roof collapse injures workers

Equipment is buried under timber at a Center Road construction site in Brunswick Thursday. The builders didn't follow construction guidelines, city officials said. Two workers were injured when the roof collapsed. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

The roof on a building addition on Center Road collapsed around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, seriously injuring one construction worker.

Brunswick Chief Building Inspector Dan Gladish said construction crews were not following installation rules when the structure collapsed.

“There’s a complete set of instructions that come with these roof structures,” Gladish said. “The main support wall was not installed and none of their bracings were installed properly.”

Gladish said one worker fell 18 feet and was hit with falling beams when the structure collapsed. Another worker sustained minor injuries.

An initial report from Brunswick EMS squads was not available Thursday.

Gladish said his department had requested information about the specifics of the roof construction and had yet to approve the start of work.

“They were not approved to be on this part of the project. We’re still waiting for comments from their design professional,” Gladish said. “They jumped the gun and started work without that phase of approval.”

Gladish said his office is investigating the incident and hasn’t yet issued any fines or charges.

“It wasn’t the owner; it was a general contractor who was overseeing the day-to-day activities and hiring subcontractors,” Gladish said.

He said he’s familiar with the work of Custom Decks owner Phillip Klonowski, and said he is known for good craftsmanship in deck construction.

At the scene Thursday morning, a representative from Custom Decks said the company had “no comment” on the incident.

Brunswick Councilman Dave Coleman, 3rd Ward, expressed anger at Klonowski during a Planning Commission meeting Thursday night.

Klonowski was before the board to request a variance to construct an 8-foot fence on property where that accident occurred.

Coleman urged the commission not only to deny Klonowski’s request, but to yank his company’s building permit because of the accident.

“I’m very furious at you right now,” Coleman told Klonowski.

Klonowski said it was the general contractor overseeing the work who was to blame.

Coleman countered the owner of the business is ultimately responsible.

In addition to the inspection by Brunswick building officials, representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were called to conduct an inspection of the construction crew’s working conditions, said Nick Solar, spokesman for the Police Department.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.