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Fairgrounds starts removing vehicles from building after roof collapse

Red River Valley Fairgrounds staff say they did enough to prevent roof collapse
A still photo captured from a WDAY-TV drone video shows the roof collapse on the south side of the Harvest Hall building late Friday afternoon on the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo. An estimated 30 out of the 67 vehicles in the building were damaged.
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WEST FARGO — Red River Valley Fair staff are slowly starting to move vehicles out of a building on the fairgrounds after its roof collapsed under snow weight on March 14.

General Manager Bryan Schulz said about 38 of the 67 vehicles were driven out of Harvest Hall on Wednesday, March 20. Thursday, more vehicles were either driven out of the building or towed to a holding area after a contractor was able to lift parts of the sagging roof up.

Schulz did not have a total number of vehicles that remain in the building as of Thursday evening. He said the number of vehicles that have sustained damage is still unknown. Staff will continue to work on removing the vehicles they can, but the public is still not allowed inside the building.

“It’s still unsafe for anyone to be in there,” Schulz said.

Schulz said the fairgrounds’ insurance will cover the building but it does not cover damage that may have been caused to vehicles that were stored inside the building. The vehicles are independently owned. As part of the storage contract, vehicle owners are required to carry insurance on the automobiles in case of “an act of god” or natural disaster, Schulz said.

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He said a structural engineer will inspect the building again on Monday to determine if it can be repaired or could be considered a total loss.

The fairgrounds has about 27 buildings and Schulz said crews had been removing snow from roofs and clearing it away from buildings as winter storage was slated to end in about two weeks.

Harvest Hall is usually used for arts and crafts exhibits during the Red River Valley Fair.

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