Awning Collapses, Traps People Inside San Marcos

This incident is not related to the Cocos Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An awning collapsed at a San Marcos strip mall, trapping people inside stores. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda reports. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    Part of a building collapsed in San Marcos Thursday, trapping several people inside stores.

    An awning came crashing down at a strip mall in the 700 block of Center Drive around 4:30 p.m. Fortunately, no one was underneath it at the time, so there was no injuries.

    "I just heard a giant crashing noise, and I thought it was a car wreck or a train wreck because there are tracks down the street here," said witness Todd Meyers, "and I walked over and I saw the roof on the ground, and there was pipes on both ends with water just gushing out, so it was incredible."

    A building inspector told NBC 7 that it appears a leaky pipe underneath the awning may be to blame. The weight of the water most likely caused it to collapse. 

    One person was trapped inside a Postal Annex when the wood and Spanish tiles fell, and two more could not get out of the GBM Beads store.

    "I just wanted to make sure no one was out there, that's all," said Frank Derbin, one of the people caught inside. "I looked out the door and there was water and electricity, so I didn't want anyone to get hurt."

    Fire crews had to cut through the debris to get those inside out. Three of the buildings in the strip mall have been red tagged, so they won't be open for the next few days. 

    Other stores in the area lost power for a time as well, but it has since been restored.

    The location is just north of State Route 78, so it is not related to the Cocos Fire

    Check back for details on this breaking news story.