Poconos Coal

Officials say collapsed deck was not up to code

Officials say collapsed deck not up to code

PENN FOREST TWP., Pa. - People living in part of Carbon County are checking the integrity of their decks after one came crashing down during a child's birthday party.

Six people, including several kids, were rushed to the hospital after the collapse in Penn Forest Township. Officials say the deck was not up to code.

Tuesday night the two story high deck, located in the 500 block of Towamensing Trail in Penn Forest Township, collapsed during a child's birthday party. Neighbor Larine Watters said she saw four kids underneath structure.

"Little child lying there with a gash on her head," she said.

In total six people, including kids ages seven to 13 were taken to the hospital.

The Penn Forest Township Fire Chief says nails, not bolts, screws or rods, is what held the deck to the home.

He says it doesn't meet code and is out of date.

Towamensing Trails, especially in the summer, is a renter's community.

Many homes come with two story decks. The local fire chief tells us deck collapses aren't rare as they're often used for summer parties.

"It's not uncommon to see up to 100 people in a house," former Penn Forest Supervisor Alan Katz said.

According to land records, the house was built in 2004 during a time when, Katz said, building codes weren't as strict.

The home sold last year and there's no record of the deck being inspected since it was first built, which Katz says is common.

"Once a project is complete that house can sell ten times and not require an inspection," Katz said.

The morning after the accident. Larine and her husband Dan made sure their deck stands strong.

"I've looked at the deck to see if screwed in, if there's bolts or if it's just nailed in," she said.

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