North Kingstown, R.I. (WPRI) – Firefighters responded to a report of a roof collapse at the Quonset Air Museum located at 488 Eccleston Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday.
Quonset Air Museum Vice President John King confirmed to Eyewitness News that two workers went to check on the facility containing historic aircraft when they discovered a partial roof collapse in the back of the building.
“None of the aircrafts were damaged. The collapse happened overhead an open work area containing tools,” King said.
The museum is not open to the public during winter months.
North Kingstown Deputy Chief Philip Aldrich confirmed that there is a partial roof collapse along with numerous holes in separate parts of the roof with leaks. “The collapse is about five feet wide,” Deputy Chief Alrich said.
The deputy chief said water also leaked into the building’s electrical room which has wires and high voltages. “Firefighters shut down power to the building as a safety precaution.”
Fire officials said no one was hurt. They blame the collapse and leaks on the amount of snow on the roof, combined with rain, as well as the building’s age. Deputy Chief Alrich said the navy-based hangar structure dates back to the early 1940s.
John King said the building is now unusable. “I still plan to open the museum to the public as normally scheduled in the spring and just display the planes outside.”
In the meantime, King said he hopes to fundraise while searching for a new facility.