Deck Collapses in Atlanta During Birthday Party


Members of a northwest Atlanta said a birthday party was suddenly interrupted when the deck they were celebrating on suddenly collapsed.

Home video shot at the Washington Heights Terrace home showed the confusion as the McLeroy family and friends were singing "Happy Birthday" to a four-year-old boy.

An adult and two children suffered injuries as a result of the collapse. They were treated at the scene by Atlanta Fire Rescue crews.

On Monday, CBS Atlanta went back to the home with a deck inspector. Stan Garnet said the deck was improperly built, and a significant safety hazard.

"What we have is rot underneath the door sill, which means this deck was attached on top of siding board, so we didn't have a good tight fit," said Garnet. "And the only thing holding this looks to be around three inch nails."

Garnet said every homeowner and renter should check their deck for safety.

"If your deck is secured with nails, you already have a problem," said Garnet. "It needs to be proper fasteners, bolts, and you need to look beyond that."

Garnet said a loose guardrail can also be a big danger.

"Make sure you have good strength in the guardrail, push it gently, but be careful because if it's bad you don't want to be falling over with it," said Garnet.

Family members who were at the Northwest Atlanta home when the deck collapsed said the landlord came to secure the deck, and promised to fix it. Garnet said the only fix is to tear it down, and the four-year-old's grandmother said she'll make sure that happens.

"I'm gonna be more careful, make sure that he builds it up right this time," said Janice Ferrell. "I'm going to tell him to just tear the whole thing down."

City inspectors also visited the home on Monday. It is unclear if the homeowner will be cited for the deck collapse.

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