WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Officials are concerned about the roof falling following a deck collapse in Wildwood over the weekend. Two decks collapsed Saturday night at a condo unit, leaving at least 21 people hurt, including children.
Crews removed debris away from the scene on Monday.
The top deck crushed the one beneath it, in what officials call a “pancake collapse.”
The cause for the collapse is still under investigation but it’s clear to see that the wood where the decks attached to the building have rotted quite a bit. Officials believe the property is more than 80 years old and they’re not sure how old the decks were.
Construction officials in #Wildwood N.J. looking a front of condos where 2 decks collapsed on Saturday injuring about 20 people. Property now boarded up until engineers can brace top floor and rebuild front wall. Easy to see wood rot where decks attached. pic.twitter.com/LxM6L6fDr1
— Cleve Bryan CBS3 (@CleveBryan) September 16, 2019
The majority of the people at the complex on East Baker Avenue were renting for the weekend to take part in the annual New Jersey Firemen’s Convention in Wildwood.
The property is boarded up until engineers can brace the top floor and rebuild the front wall.
One neighbor is worried about the roof collapsing.
“It’s amazing that nobody was killed here, that’s the truth,” Mike de Mayo said. “I see another problem with the roof because it is hanging over and it looks like it could fall.”
Gail Ivines and her family were sitting on the deck of their house when the collapse happened next door. She believes it was divine intervention the decks fell on an angle instead of crashing straight down.
“So thank God they kind of rode out the columns and came down on an angle and slid down before the next one came down. It was like God’s hand was there, very obvious,” she said.
Officials say the first thing they have to do is secure part of the building’s roof as soon as possible. Part of it is jutting out and is now unsupported.
Safety officials say people with older decks at the shore should take a close look for signs of weakness, like sagging, rotted wood or loose bracing.
“If you own a property that you’re going to rent out that’s your responsibility, ultimately you’d want a safe structure. So if you see something that doesn’t look right, I would have it looked at,” Wildwood Fire Deputy Chief Ernest Troiano said.
The street will remain blocked off this week as a construction crew works to brace the top floor of the condo complex.
CBS3’s Cleve Bryan contributed to this report.