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2 Canton deaths reinforce risks of snow removal from roofs

A Wellesley man suffered injuries to his shoulder after snow and ice fell on him as he tried to clear accumulations from a trellis outside his Rockland Street home Monday morning.
A Wellesley man suffered injuries to his shoulder after snow and ice fell on him as he tried to clear accumulations from a trellis outside his Rockland Street home Monday morning.Wellesley Police Department

Two people have died after falling from roofs while trying to clear snow in Canton, police said. The deaths came as Massachusetts residents have scrambled to prevent collapses or other damage because of accumulated snow and ice.

On Sunday, a man fell about 40 feet through a skylight on a building at 146 Will Drive in Canton. The man had been walking across the roof, assessing snow removal operations, when he stepped on the snow-covered skylight, and it gave way, according to police.

The man was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, where he was pronounced dead, police said in a statement.

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Another worker fell off a roof Wednesday while clearing snow from the Draper Knitting Co. at 28 Draper Lane. That worker, a man about 35 years old, was taken to a Boston-area hospital by MedFlight helicopter and later pronounced dead, police said.

Police did not release the identities of either man.

Canton police also reported that a woman fell off the roof of her Tucker Road home while clearing snow. She was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in these tragic accidents,” Canton police said. “As we have been communicating this week, we urge people to use extreme caution while attempting to clear snow and ice from their roofs. We recommend homeowners contact professionals to assist with snow removal and whenever possible to work in pairs of at least two people.

“These tragic and deadly incidents highlight unprecedented concerns and hidden dangers that have come with the brutal weather conditions we have been experiencing.”

In Wellesley on Monday morning, a man suffered injuries to his shoulder after snow and ice fell on him as he tried to clear accumulations from a trellis outside his Rockland Street home, police said.

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The man, in his 60s, was taken to an area hospital about 7:30 a.m., Lieutenant Marie Cleary said. His injuries were not serious, she said.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Monday it had received 153 reports of roof collapses or damage since Feb. 9.

In Boston, a snow-covered chimney fell off the roof of a building at 107 Beacon St. and struck a car parked on the street Sunday evening, Boston police said.

There were no injuries, but the car had major damage, Officer Rachel McGuire said.

The building was deemed safe, but a number of repairs will be necessary, she added.

Old South Union Church in Weymouth had a partial roof collapse Sunday afternoon in the building’s educational wing, the Rev. Jennie Siegal said in a letter to parishioners. No one was injured, but there was significant damage, she said.

Church offices will be closed until the building has been declared safe.

A second roof collapse was also reported at a building at Bobby’s Ranch on Durkee Lane in Westford on Sunday, the emergency management agency said. The riding stable had been the site of a previous collapse Friday that killed two horses. No animals were inside the building that collapsed Sunday, and no injuries were reported.

Since 4 p.m. Sunday, the emergency management agency said in an update, other collapses were reported in Amesbury, Brookfield, Chelmsford, Framingham, Newburyport, Norton, Norwood, Pepperell, Sharon, Wellesley, Westford, and Worcester.

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Aneri Pattani can be reached at aneri.pattani@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @apattani95.