El Nino huffed and puffed and blew Goodwill Industries Thrift Store roof down

El Nino huffed and puffed and blew Goodwill Industries Thrift Store roof down.

“Quite frankly, when I got the first phone call, it was there’s a problem with the roof. The second phone call was the roof collapsed and third phone call was thank goodness our staff got out safely.”

— Beth Forsberg, Goodwill VP Retail & Operations, at the scene Thursday morning.

Goodwill Industries Thrift Store workers spent Thursday mopping and moping.

The group’s venerable thrift shop at the corner of 550 W Washington Avenue between Grape Street and Centre City Parkway took a big hit Wednesday night. Driving rain set off a Rube Goldberg sequence of unfortunate events as the building roof collapsed. The store inventory might not be a total loss, but it’s close.

El Nino’s dastardly deluge around 11:30 p.m. ripped, rattled and roared, according to Goodwill Industries officials surveying what was left of the store’s interior. About three-quarters of store inventory, at a minimum, was damaged in the unfortunate weather-induced, flooding water event, officials said.

Goodwill store on Saturday after a bit of clean-up.

Goodwill store on Saturday after a bit of clean-up.

The cracking and odd sounds reported by the four-member, late-night store cleaning crew onsite at the time, soon turned into roof tiles bulging before ripping. Cleaning crew members saw just enough to get the heck out of Dodge and dodge outside. The roof came tumbling Humpty Dumpty-style down an estimated three minutes after the emergency exit. Escondido Police and Fire were on scene by that time, workers said.

As the roof fell apart, it resembled one of those once-popular Rube Goldberg cartoon contraptions. The terrible tumult blew out an emergency door, while also bursting a fire sprinkler pipe. In turn, the ruptured pipe sent cascades of water throughout the embattled store. Water blew out glass as well with several inches flooding the building.

Escondido officials said the official cause of the roof collapse remained under investigation. No damage estimate has been released as yet. Some suggested the store could be a total loss.

Goodwill Thrift Store’s 35 employees, some with significant disabilities, have the option of working at other stores or taking time off, officials said.

Escondido Goodwill Store in better times.

Escondido Goodwill Store in better times.

With the temporary closure of the store, donations can be brought to the following locations:

Goodwill Donation Storefront (1815A So. Centre City Parkway, Escondido)
760-755-7029
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Goodwill Retail Store (1056 East Vista Way, Vista)
760-630-0600
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Goodwill Retail Store (15703 Bernardo Heights Parkway, Rancho Bernardo)
858-798-9600
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Goodwill Bookstore (685 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, San Marcos)
760-798-0230
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Go to www.sdgoodwill.org to find other locations.

Closed until further notice.

Closed until further notice.

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