Gas station canopy collapses in Middletown, Conn.

Strong winds toppled a gas station canopy in Middletown, Conn. Wednesday night.

“I was going to stop here to get gas but I guess not now,” said Middletown Resident Joe Smith.

Cones and caution tape were still outside.

“The guy called me around 1:30 to say it was swinging a little bit. I said all right I’m on my way,” said gas station owner Hafeez Mirza.

When Mirza saw the status of his station, he immediately stopped service. Surveillance video showed why hours later it proved to be the right decision.

“I knew it was coming down I can’t stop it.”

“He shut everything right down, the electric and everything, so there was never a chance of explosion or anything,” said Bill Lardi, Middletown’s assistant building official.

Lardi said metal fatigue also played a part. He spent the afternoon supervising efforts to secure the section still standing.

“If this does collapse tonight it will come onto this not the gas pumps, we do not want to risk damaging these two pumps here,” he said.

Across the street, drivers looked on in disbelief.