UPPER MARLBORO, Md.-Severe snowfall caused part of the roof to collapse at Marlboro Tire and Automotive Inc. in Upper Marlboro Jan. 12, causing about $500,000 in damage to building and contents. The roof caved in that night on the company's 12,000-sq.-ft. headquarters, destroying six limousines owned by a limo service which rented that half of the building from family-owned Marlboro Tire.
No one was hurt in the collapse, according to Marlboro Tire President Mike Kress.
The fire department ascertained no one was in the building when the roof fell, and a building inspector certified the basic structure as safe. No part of the building housing Marlboro Tire's operations was damaged, thanks to a cinder-block fire wall, he said.
Nevertheless, the building inspector was concerned the rest of the roof might also come down because walls in the back half of the building collapsed with the roof, and the fire wall has no insulation.
``We rented propane heaters on Saturday (Jan. 13) and put them in our shop to melt off the snow,'' Mr. Kress said. The melting allowed Marlboro Tire to reopen for business two days later.
He said it will remain open while remains of the building's rear are bulldozed and rebuilt. Insurance will cover all the dealership's losses.
Marlboro Tire is a member of American Car Care Centers Inc. Mr. Kress currently is first vice president of the Maryland Tire Dealers Association.