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Part of building collapses on Salvation Army store in Colorado

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Salvation Army store collapse
  • NEW: The Salvation Army says staff members helped customers get out
  • Everybody escaped from the building
  • Canines are brought in to assist in the search

(CNN) -- A loft office collapsed at a Colorado Salvation Army thrift store, sending debris onto people below and launching a frantic search for someone who may have been missing, authorities said Friday.

The second-story loft collapsed around 3 p.m., when 22 people were in the thrift store and warehouse complex in Grand Junction, fire department spokesman Mike Page told CNN.

Authorities initially believed one person may have been missing, but later learned that everybody had made it out of the building.

The search took several hours because of the large quantity of rubble that was being removed by hand, Page said. Police dogs were assisting with the search.

Rescuers used thermal imaging at the facility on Ute Avenue, Page said. Teams drilled a hole into the wall on the opposite side of the building to continue the search operation.

Michele Mahoney, who works at a nearby business, said she heard a loud noise around 3:15 p.m. and came outside to discover a chaotic scene.

Dan Wilson of the Salvation Army said staff at the store assisted after the collapse.

"I am proud of our employees and how they responded," he said. "They helped a couple customers and got everybody out of the building in a safe and orderly manner."

CNN's Greg Morrison contributed to this report.