3 Employees Survive Roof Collapse at Chicago Auto Body Shop

The building had failed an inspection in January 2023, which described the roof structure as "water damaged with rotted rafters."

A Portage Park auto body shop employee was startled and shaken after he survived a roof collapse June 13. Image via CBS.

A roof collapse at Nu-Life Body Shop in Portage Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago, on June 13 left three men unharmed but brought attention to serious building safety concerns.

The incident occurred around 11 a.m. at the Milwaukee Avenue location. Tim Levan, an employee at the shop, told CBS 2 he had just walked to the back of the shop for some touch-up paint when the roof gave way above him.

City demolition inspectors later confirmed the roof failure was due to years of accumulated water along a structural seam, which had caused significant rot in the wooden supports.

The collapse damaged three vehicles inside the building. One car was immediately pulled from the building and another is likely to be repaired, but the third was deemed a total loss. Fortunately, none of the three men inside at the time sustained serious injuries.

A failed inspection report from Jan. 12, 2023, said the owner had "failed to maintain [the] building or structure in a structurally safe and stable condition." The report noted that the roof leaked and described the roof structure as "water damaged with rotted rafters and decking with poor and substandard previous repairs."

The building's owner told CBS 2 he had faced financial difficulties after his health deteriorated a few years ago. Despite the damage, the owner confirmed a pending sale of the property would proceed, with plans to gut and renovate the building. He expressed relief that no one was seriously hurt in the incident.

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