The roof of this home on Hill Street in Winterstown collapsed Wednesday morning.
The roof of this home on Hill Street in Winterstown collapsed Wednesday morning. (Bil Bowden)

A Winterstown man escaped injury Wednesday morning when the roof of his home collapsed while he was showering.

Scott Edwards is the sole occupant of the ranch-style house in the 11000 block of Hill Street in the borough, according to stepdaughter Jamie Leiphart.

She said Edwards was in the shower between 2 and 3 a.m. when the roof came down, but wasn't hurt.

North Hopewell-Winterstown Fire Capt. Ben Grove said police and firefighters were dispatched there about 8 a.m. after a neighbor called 911.

No one was home when they arrived, he said.

Southern Regional Police entered the home to be sure no one was hurt or trapped, Grove said.

The captain said he later learned the collapse happened hours earlier, and that the homeowner left the house without calling 911.

The center of the roof collapsed down into the rancher, according to Grove, which caused the living-room ceiling to partially cave in.

He said water will certainly leak into the house.

"All four corners of the roof moved from their original positions," Grove said.

It appears the roof rafters were not properly braced with collar ties -- or at least not properly braced for the roof's snow load, according to the captain.

Leiphart said the collapse also downed rain gutters and knocked off siding.

"I just wonder ... if the rest of it is going to (fall down) too," she said.

Grove said he was unable to reach Edwards, so crews put up yellow caution tape and moved on to other calls.


He said he thinks it would be dangerous to stay in the home, but that the borough does not condemn buildings, meaning

Edwards could theoretically stay there at his own risk if he chooses to.

"Personally, I wouldn't," Grove said.

Edwards could not be reached for comment.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at