Littleton deck collapse injures four; make sure yours is safe

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LITTLETON, Colo. -- Four people are recovering after a deck collapsed at a Littleton home. They were injured after 9 p.m. Tuesday, at a home on Ottawa Place.

At least 15 people were on the deck, when it ripped away from the wall of the house.

The scene suggests a lot of people were lucky there were no deaths or serious injuries.

Neighbors say at least 25 to 30 people were at a party and some of them were on the deck.

 "The deck collapsed, cantilevered back in toward the house,” says Littleton Fire Rescue Chief Roland Seno. “We did triage and sent four people to the hospital."

 The people were thrown about ten feet below.

 Inspectors quickly discovered the deck was improperly attached to the house. John Nihiser/Jefferson County Building Dept. "It appears to be nailed, which we require lag bolting and stuff nowadays,” says John Nihiser with the Jefferson County Building Department."  

"Anybody that builds those things knows you use lag bolts, you don't trust nails for a deck, says neighbor Joel Priest." 

 A similar accident last August in Golden injured 12 people, two critically, and the deck at that house was also not up to code according to authorities.

This latest accident raises a red flag for homeowners.

"Check the deck, see how they're fastened to the house,” Nihiser says. “Make sure that you got lag bolts every 16 inches on center and that they're just not nailed to the house."

 It should be built to hold a moving load of people.

 Inspectors were off for the holiday Wednesday, but Thursday they'll begin trying to answer some important questions such as was this a contractor who cut corners, and did they have the proper building permits?

In the meantime, it's a good idea to take a close up look at your deck, or have it inspected to make sure it's up to code.