The business could be open again as early as this weekend.
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BROOKFIELD -- A few customers pulled up to the door of the Valley View Antique Mall and Expo Center only to hear, "We're closed temporarily."
The business, normally open seven days a week, closed its doors to the public after a portion of the building's roof collapsed Friday night.
"It was about a 1,000-square-foot section that came down," said J.V. Ferrara of Liberty, who owns and operates the business with his mother, Julia Ferrara of Brookfield.
Ferrara said only two or three people were in the building around 8:15 p.m. when the ceiling came down, but no one was injured. Valley View, which houses an antique mall, flea market and auction center, closed to the public at 8 p.m. that day.
Heavy rains from storms that night caused the collapse, as well as water damage to much of the merchandise inside.
"It affected the whole building," Ferrara said, noting there is no real way to determine how much was lost.
Vendors lease space from Valley View and fill the booths with their own merchandise. Valley View employees keep no records of dollar values assessed to the merchandise.
"There's no way to estimate," he said. "I have no idea; there is no real way of knowing."
Ferrara said some of the vendors knew of the accident Friday night, while most of them and customers didn't find out until Saturday morning.
Since Saturday morning, vendors and employees have worked loading trash bins with debris and clearing away damaged items. For safety reasons, no one else is allowed in the building.
Ferrara said Valley View should be open again by this weekend, perhaps as early as Thursday or Friday.
"Everyone is as anxious as could be to get back open," he said.