A terrifying situation for JM Equestrian as the roof collapsed on their riding arena moments after they evacuated the building on Monday, March19th.

The good news seven horses, five cats, two dogs, two pigs, and 16 people are safe and sound.

Morgen Langner, who runs the business out of the arena rented from the Saskatoon farm, says they were hearing noises all day.

"Throughout the day it got more frequent and a little louder," said Langner. "We summed it up to the ice was melting off the roof and falling and didn't think too much about it."

Then they started looking into it a little more.

"My colleague Ryan went up into the attic with a couple of workers from a nearby farm and discovered the trusses were giving "

He came down and told Langner to evacuate immediately.

In her Facebook post Langner says at 4:38 p.m. they discovered the trusses were failing, by 4:46 they had evacuated and at 4:49 the entire roof collapsed.

"Just as we got the last of the people out it gave way."

Her family leased the arena a year ago and they have put everything they have into the business.

"It is a pretty devastating blow. I have four children and we put every dollar we have into that facility. Not to mention all the other families involved in this and the horses that have lost their home."

If there is a lesson to be learned from Monday it's to always have an excavation and emergency plan in place no matter what the size of a building is.

"I hope people get educated and make disaster plans. I am an instructor with Aqua Health Canada, I am trained in disaster planning and emergency preparedness."

She adds get training, take the measures, do risk assessments.

"I don't know what caused that building to collapse but I know for an absolute fact had we not have practiced the fire drills and hadn't have gotten these people to take the training I don't know if we would have had such a happy outcome in the fact that no one got hurt."

She says you have to have an evacuation plan even if it is on a small scale.

"Have a plan to get out of there, know where your risks are and know how to get out. No one thought we were going to have a building collapse let alone two in one day."

The roof on the indoor riding arena at the Millarville race track collapsed on Monday as well.

As to the future she is not sure what the next steps are, perhaps finding new space to lease to keep the business going.

"Right now it is just making people aware and keep everybody as calm as we can, it is a devastating disaster. We are going to stick together and keep our heads high and just remember no one got hurt."

 

If you see something we should know about e-mail us at [email protected]

More Local News

HighRiverOnline.com is High River's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login