Local Contractor has Building Collapse Injuring Two Workers

[NICK RAHAIM, Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

A building under construction near Coddingtown Mall collapsed early Thursday afternoon, trapping two workers for a short time under debris and sending both to the hospital.

Workers were placing roof trusses at the Habit Burger Grill site in the parking lot by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s at 2005 Cleveland Ave. about 12:30 p.m. when the exterior walls buckled and the trusses collapsed, Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.

Basque said one of the unidentified workers was still trapped when emergency personnel arrived, but was promptly extricated.

The two workers were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, one with a gash on his face and the other with a leg injury, said Chris Carpenter, a construction worker whose family owns El Dorado County-based Merritt Construction, which was contracted to frame the building.

A third worker suffered a minor back injury but was not taken to the hospital, Basque said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Carpenter said. “We’ve been in business for 31 years and this has never happened.”

Carpenter’s father and owner of Merritt Construction, Bill Carpenter, moved a heavy-duty forklift to support the buckling exterior north wall after the incident. The incident will likely ...