Deck Collapse

A Rochester resident was injured Monday night after a deck collapsed at a residential property.

The Rochester Fire Department was called to the 900 block of 23rd Street Southeast around 9:15 p.m. Monday for a report of a deck collapse. Upon arrival, emergency responders found a resident of the home trapped and injured, according to a news release from the fire department.

Firefighters used equipment to secure the deck from further collapse before they were able to rescue the person off the deck. The home's resident was not identified by the Rochester Fire Department nor was any other information given about the person's injuries.

The collapse caused about $5,000 worth of damage, all of which was limited to the raised deck.

An estimated 2,100 emergency room-treated injuries were associated with collapses or failures of entire balconies, decks or porches nationwide between 2016 to 2018, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The deck at the home where firefighters responded Monday was built in 1985 and was part of the original construction plan for the residence, according to Randy Johnson, director of the City of Rochester's Building Safety Department.

Johnson said since that time, building codes have changed "quite a bit" and now a separate code exists for decks.

In the city, decks are inspected as part of the permitting process, whether it be at the time the entire home is built or later as part of an addition.

A plan review must be completed prior to the deck construction. Inspections occur at the time holes are dug for the deck footings — prior to the pouring of concrete — and after the deck and grading are completed.

"We are here to help that homeowner to make sure it meets code and that it is safe," Johnson said. "When we do our job, nothing happens."

For homeowners who are concerned about the safety of their decks, Johnson recommended reaching out to a reputable, licensed contractor. 

"The key is making sure that they get the permits, and the purpose of the permit is to make sure the deck is safe," Johnson said.