CHICAGO (CBS) — Four people were injured when a porch collapsed in Evanston during a Memorial Day party.
Delilah Walker, who was one of about 8 people on the second-floor porch at an apartment building in the 1900 block of Darrow Avenue at the time, said she was visiting her relatives for a Memorial Day barbecue, and was getting to leave the party at about 8:45 p.m., when the deck came crashing down.READ MORE: Chicago Police Officer Released From Hospital After Being Shot In Shopping Center Parking Lot At North And Sheffield Avenues
“No warning at all. We felt a little movement, and everyone froze, and then, boom, that was it,” she said. “I had to fight from under a table and a chair, and I had a lady on me; an older lady. … Everybody fell on top of each other. Everything fell on top of us. We were barbecuing, so there was a hot grill up there. Thank God no one got burned, but it was just really, really scary.”
The porch was left on a slant, after it broke free from the rear wall of the building.
Walker said, moments before the collapse, children and babies were out on the porch, but they went inside before it fell.
Four people were taken to hospitals for minor injuries, mostly cuts and scratches. The others on the porch were treated at the scene. One person was on the first-floor porch below at the time, but it was unclear if that person was injured.
Walker said she’s sore, and received four stitches on her knee, and was walking on crutches Tuesday morning, because she was having difficulty moving her knee. She said she planned to visit her doctor to get her knee checked out.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Pleasant Parade Weather Tuesday
“I thank God that it was just minor scrapes and bumps. I was able to walk away, so I’m just thankful,” she said.
Evanston building and inspection services division manager Gary Gerdes said, from a first look at the structure, he could tell the porch was not properly attached to the building.
“Pretty much most deck failures occur pretty much where the deck meets the house. That’s what happened here. There’s a lack of attachment at the house. So the deck was not attached properly to the structure,” he said.
The daughter of one tenant in the building said the porch had some cracks on it.
“It might have been too many people, but at the same time I feel like this was a really old porch, and my mom has explained to the owner of the building that it needs to be fixed,” Raven Jaffe said.
Neither the landlord or property manager had visited the apartment building as of 11 a.m.MORE NEWS: More Than A Third Of CPD Staff Missed Vaccine Reporting Deadline; City Could Begin Placing Employees On 'No Pay' Status Today
Gerdes said he still needs to check the history of the building to determine if it had proper permits, and passed previous inspections. He said he expects to determine an official cause of the collapse by the end of the day Tuesday.