Deck collapse prompts warning



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 28 at 10:24 AM

Video: Woman hurt in deck collapse

ORTING, Wash. - Neighbors of a woman whose deck collapsed beneath her Saturday night are being advised to stay off their decks until the City of Orting checks them out.

Tracey Conklin suffered a fractured tailbone, bruises and two chipped teeth when her deck collapsed. She spent the night at the hospital.

"I really, honestly thought I was going to die. I was that scared," she said.

When news of the collapse reached Orting's City Hall, officials came to the home to look at the deck.

"We're still investigating, but the first thing we saw looked suspicious to us," said City Administrator Dave Bethune. "It may not have been built up to code in some aspects."

Bethune said city code requires second-story decks be supported by beams that are buried at least one foot in the ground. Conklin's support beams appeared to be buried only a couple of inches.

While the city conducts its investigation, three of Conklin's neighbors with similar decks have been told to stay off the structures.

The city is trying to identify who built Conklin's deck.

According to county records, Prospect Homes built the house in 2005. It is currently owned and managed by Vista Property Management.

A spokesperson for the company had no comment on the collapse, or the claims that Conklin had been complaining about the stability of the deck since she moved her family in the home and began leasing it in February.

Conklin's just glad one of her three children wasn't on the deck Saturday night.

"Something happens to me, fine, I'm mom," said Conklin, "But I mean something happens to my kids? That's horrifying, horrifying, horrifying."