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Strong winds rip roof from building in Freeburg, Illinois

A Wednesday night storm ripped the north half of the roof off the Old Public School Building. No one was injured.

Strong winds blew part of a roof off a building Wednesday night in the St. Clair County town of Freeburg, Illinois.

Scattered showers and some rumbles of thunder developed along the cold front in the St. Louis area Wednesday evening. A few produced downpours and gusty winds of 35-40 mph.

“My kids were freaking out because of how loud it was,” said Freeburg resident Melanie Martinez. “It sounded kind of like a train was coming through.”

The Old Public School Building is located at S. Alton and W. White streets. Freeburg police said at about 8:20 p.m. a storm came through and ripped the east half of the roof off the building, which had been converted into apartments.

“It’s a nice apartment building," said Martinez. "It’s kind of sad to see it like that.”

“It has two roofs on it," said Freeburg Fire Chief Hans Mueller. "The original roof kind of follows the contour of what you see there. There is another roof that was added roughly 75 years ago. It looked like it was mainly in that second roof. We had a good idea there was no one trapped.”

Nobody was hurt. However, debris was visible Thursday morning in the parking lot the building shares with Faith Baptist Church, which did not sustain significant damage.

“My room is OK I think," said resident Dylan Whetstone. "The rest of the building isn’t good.”

The building was erected in 1876.

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