Residents return to apartments after floor collapses; damages expected to total over $200,000

Residents return to apartments after floor collapses; damages expected to total over $200,000

Residents return to apartments after floor collapses; damages expected to total over $200,000
November 15
11:34 2017

A party at a student apartment complex caused the floor of a third-story apartment to collapse this past Sunday.

Forty-eight residents from The Ridge at North Texas were displaced as a result of the incident, with damages exceeding $200,000, according to a report from the Denton Fire Department. Residents were able to return to their units Monday evening, with many staying at temporary housing offered by Best Western Hotel and The Gateway student apartments.

Structural engineers and city officials deemed the building suitable for occupancy after an inspection Monday.

A statement from the apartment complex said “residents of the three units directly affected by the incident will be permanently moved to other housing — most likely a nearby property — as those three units are restored.”

Video courtesy of Mickey Hicks.

Bryan Cose, public information officer for the Denton Police Department, said there appears to have been 50-100 people at the party based off video footage, but there is no confirmation on the exact number of people there.

UNT ecology sophomore Carley Carroll was one of the displaced residents. Her apartment was below the unit that collapsed.

“We’ve been in a hotel for the past three nights, which The Ridge has completely paid for,” Carroll said.

Business finance freshman Wallace Chalmers estimated there were around 100 people in the apartment.

“They started jumping,” Chalmers said. “After one song, I started feeling the ground wave a little bit like [it could] cave in. They were really jumping hard.”

Chalmers said the DJ played another song, and after people began dancing and jumping, that’s when the floor gave way.

“We fell through the water pipelines and then we fell to the actual second floor,” Chalmers said. “It happened so quickly. I closed my eyes. There was a bunch of screaming. I felt water hit my face.”

Business marketing freshman Kyre Adesanya said after the fall, he felt stranded, surrounded by debris and dust.

“People were on my legs,” Adesanya said. “People were in the water. As soon as we hit the ground, the water was like eight inches off the ground.”

Carroll said she had only ever briefly encountered the four males who lived above her who threw the party that resulted in the floor collapse. She was at her parents home when the collapse occurred, while her roommates were at the police station making a noise complaint.

“What we were first told was that the sprinklers were on for two-and-a-half hours and not to expect to salvage anything,” Carroll said. “We actually went in yesterday and cleared everything out.”

The incident report from the Denton Fire Department (DFD) states the occupants jumping up and down caused the subfloor trusses to collapse into the second floor below.

“Heavy amounts of water from broken water pipes and fire sprinkler system increased the load on the second floor and soaked the first-floor sheetrock,” the report stated. “Water and electrical were disconnected from the building to prevent fire hazards and additional flooding.”

The incident report from the DFD estimated the damages will cost roughly $210,000.

Carroll said the most affected area was the living room of the apartment and that while many of her personal items where in her room and less damaged, there is still “hundreds of dollars of stuff to replace.”

One of her roommates laptop had $750 worth of damage.

A fire alarm at the complex went off around 1:43 a.m. DFD arrived on the scene at approximately 1:50 a.m., according to the incident report. Narrations in the report state when first responders arrived, there were “approximately 100 people outside in full-scale panic.”

The two apartments directly under the unit hosting the party were directly affected, according to the report. The other nine apartments were indirectly affected due to the fire sprinkler, electrical and water systems being cut off. DFD displaced all occupants of the building, a total of 48 residents.

Carroll said she and two of her roommates will be moving into a new apartment complex, which will be the same price as they were paying at The Ridge.

She said that upon moving, she and her roommates do not plan on moving back to The Ridge, and one of her roommates from The Ridge will be moving back home.

“I don’t think any of us plan on going back [to The Ridge],” Carroll said. “It’s nothing against them, they’ve been great. It’s just now that we’re going to a new place I think we’re going to stay there.”

Carroll did not want to say where exactly she and her roommates would be moving so they would be able to move in with privacy.

Fourteen injuries were reported in the incident, one of which was a sprained ankle of a fireman who responded to the emergency. Cose said nobody was transported by ambulance.

A spokesperson for The Ridge said the apartment will “be looking at possible additional steps to take in order to prevent another such incident.”

Staff Writer Sean Riedel contributed to this report. 

Featured image: Over 50 students from the University of North Texas were displaced after a party caused a third-floor apartment to collapse on the morning of November 11 at The Ridge at North Texas. The damages are expected to total over $200,000. Sara Carpenter

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Celeste Gracia

Celeste Gracia

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1 Comment

  1. Neil Nevins
    Neil Nevins November 16, 07:52

    I hope there’s going to be repercussions on the end of the tenants who threw the party. It’s tacky to host a party of that scale in such a small apartment and have no regard for your neighbors

    Reply to this comment

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