By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — Lunch was served with an unexpected dose of excitement when the ceiling of a local restaurant collapsed Monday afternoon.
The plaster drop ceiling of Tim’s Coney Island, 16015 Southfield, began to crack and fall during a packed lunchtime rush.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Jones and Cpt. Chris Lawson were alerted to the danger and hustled the nearly 30 patrons and staff out the back door before the collapse.
The two men are credited with helping everyone to safety. There were no injuries.
The ceiling ended up almost entirely covering seven tables in the dining area. David Boomer, city Building Department official and electrical inspector, said the building’s structure is still sound, and only the plaster drop ceiling fell.
It was added about 30 years ago, he said, and all of the original wood and steel planking is still intact.
“It was a built-out plaster drop, and the building is very close to Southfield Road,” he said. “The vibrations from the constant traffic could have caused stress on the heavy plaster.”
The ceiling was held to the original structure only by nails, he said, and no glue or screws were used. The nails began to give way over time, which may have contributed to the collapse.
Damage is estimated between $25,000 and $30,000 to replace the ceiling, electrical work and heating ducts.
After speaking with the building’s insurance company, Gerald Stanley & Associates of Allen Park, Boomer said the business likely will reopen in less than a week.
“They are talking about opening as soon as a few days from now,” Boomer said Thursday. “The insurance company was quick on the scene for the cleanup.”
The new ceiling will be attached directly to the original structure with nails, screws and glue.
“They’re definitely taking the drop ceiling out,” Boomer said.