Roof collapse

The roof on the concrete block production building at A.A. Robbins Inc. lies inside the 60-by-100-foot building Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported from the roof giving way.

 

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — “It’s a mess,” Bill Stevens said of the production building at A.A. Robbins Inc. in the wake of the building’s roof collapsing Saturday afternoon.

The pitched metal roof on the 60-by-100-foot production building at A.A. Robbins Inc., a maker of concrete blocks and distributor of bricks, gave way around 3:15 p.m., according to Officer Kyle Grill of Cambridge Springs Police Department. The roof collapse also partially buckled the west wall of the building, but there were no injuries, Grill said.

The building, used in the manufacturing of concrete block, was on its annual winter shutdown, according to Stevens, who is an executive vice president of R.I. Lampus Co. of Springdale, which bought A.A. Robbins back in the fall.

“There were some of guys inside, but they heard noises and got out right away,” Stevens said. “The good news is nobody was hurt.”

“We’re not sure what happened,” Stevens continued. “There was snow on the roof, but the roof is not that old.”

Company technicians are expected to arrive today at the plant site off Bollard Avenue and Railroad Street to check both the building and equipment inside, Stevens said.

Lampus recently had borrowed some new manufacturing equipment to test it in the Cambridge Springs building.

“We were ready to do a test this week and there’s several hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment in there,” Stevens said. “We’ll have to see if it is okay.”

The planned testing was in preparation for about a half-million dollars worth of new investment in the Cambridge Springs operation, according to Stevens.

“We bought it to grow it,” he said of the purchase of the A.A. Robbins Inc. location.

“We’ll rebuild it,” Stevens said of the building. “We’ve got good employees there.”

Founded in 1924, R.I. Lampus Co. is the largest manufacturer of concrete block, wet cast and concrete hardscape products in western Pennsylvania.

Its alloy division serves the carbon steel, stainless steel and cast iron industries across the nation. 

At the time of the Robbins purchase in October, Lampus had 160 employees, five manufacturing locations in western Pennsylvania and sold numerous lines of clay brick products while A.A. Robbins had about a dozen employees who manufactured concrete block during the construction season. 

The addition of Cambridge Springs gave Lampus a third concrete block manufacturing plant and an additional brick distribution site.

The Cambridge Springs location gave Lampus additional manufacturing capacity and expanded its distribution area from central Pennsylvania to western New York and eastern Ohio.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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