JTA — The roof of the Milwaukee Jewish Day school collapsed, sending steel beams and debris crashing down into a classroom, a week before the start of school.
Two staff members were in the classroom on Friday preparing for the start of school, but left when they heard creaking noises, according to local reports.
Moments after the staff members left the room to call security and building maintenance about the noises, the roof came crashing down.
“The entire ceiling just came down. So much so that even some people in the basement could hear and feel the shake of the boom,” Dan Tyk of the North Shore Fire Department told local news station Fox6. “Anybody who had been under that would have suffered severe injury or potentially been killed.”
It is not known what caused the roof to give way and collapse.
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation said, in part, in a statement: “The safety of the children, their families, and the staff who use this building are, as always, our priority. Currently school is not in session, and no one was in the classroom at the time. The Fire Marshall and Building Inspector from the Village of Fox Point have inspected the building. The affected area will remain unoccupied until a structural engineer has evaluated it.”
Earlier in the week, two Milwaukee-area synagogues called police to investigate suspicious packages. They were found to be harmless, but one of the synagogues also received a threatening phone call.