Heavy rain blamed in Appleton roof collapse

Police investigate suitcase fire as possible arson

Firefighters say heavy rains are a likely factor in the cause of a roof collapse at a business near downtown Appleton on Monday.

Crews were called to Sign Works around 9 a.m. Monday. One employee was inside the building, but she got out safely. Firefighters say she heard a creaking noise coming from the roof. She moved away from the noise as one-third of the roof collapsed into the building.

The National Weather Service says Appleton received about 2.18 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. Monday.

Nobody was hurt when the roof gave way, but College Avenue street outside was closed for several hours afterward as firefighters checked neighboring buildings to make sure they were safe.

There was no immediate cost estimate on the damage.