KNIGHTDALE — A collapsed balcony on a Knightdale apartment over the weekend has left many apartment dwellers concerned about their safety.
Now inspectors are trying to determine what caused the collapse and how to prevent it from happening again. Usually, such buildings are inspected only once, just after they are built. After that, it's up to owners to maintain their buildings and keep them safe for occupancy.
In the Knightdale Manor case. the building passed its inspection when it was built in 1976, but years of use left at least one balcony in dangerous condition.
Work crews at Knightdale Manor are putting in beams to support other balconies in an effort to prevent other possible accidents.
Teresa Nutsch lives in Knightdale Manor. She says many parents who live in the complex there are concerned about their children's safety.
Five people, four of them children, were on the balcony when it fell. Wake County Building Inspector Tommy Scoggins said over the years, water had seeped into wood beams that were supporting a concrete floor. The wood rotted causing the balcony to give way. He said the problem would not necessarily have been visible.
Safety codes have changed since the Knightdale Manor apartment building was erected. According to Scoggins, those built today are erected differently.
If you live in an older building, there's no guarantee that your balcony is safe.
The state building code which covers balconies didn't even go into effect until 1979. So apartment owners and renters in older buildings need to be aware of possible problems.
One woman was seriously injured in Saturday's fall. She remains in satisfactory condition at Wake Medical Center.