Community helps businesses affected by collapsed roof - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Community helps businesses affected by collapsed roof

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Roof collapse of building in Newberry Roof collapse of building in Newberry

Newberry's historic Main Street is typically, a little busier.

"We've got a lot of people that come in off the highway, especially from up north, who want to see what a small town is," said business owner Neville Glover.

But for the past two days the town that usually cashes in on its architecture has been at its expense.  Wednesday night a portion of the historic Carpenter Building's roof collapsed.

"It looks like the back third of the roof has been compromised," said Assistant City Manager Matt Dewitt, who said they still don't know why the roof fell in. That's why they barricaded the surrounding block.

"We want to make sure that if anything happens over the next few days be it rain or inclement weather, that we don't have a wall failure when a vehicle is coming by with somebody in it," he said.

"It really affects us," said Glover. "We have to really try to just maintain where we're at."

Glover owns the Grille on Main two doors down. There's no damage there, but they closed Thursday and saw business drop slightly Friday.

The Carpenter Building is home to a printing company and Elizabeth's on Main.

"It's a very famous building to anyone who's ever shopped in Newberry, they're quite familiar with it," said Beth Hipp, who own's Elizabeth's on Main.

Help showed up Thursday to move Hipp's stock two doors down.

"People came from everywhere," said Hipp. "There were at least 25 people who said, 'What can I do to help?' They had dollies, stepladders, toolboxes."

While the street will likely be closed through the weekend, life and business on Main goes on. There's a history of community here that goes beyond the brick.

"I've lived in Atlanta, I've lived in Dallas I've lived in Charlotte, but you can't build this," Hipp said. "You can't build community. That's what a small town is all about you take care of each other."

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