Three people were rescued after they became trapped by a floor collapse inside a house in West California on Tuesday. When a floor collapsed inside a West California home, the story could have ended in tragedy.
The owner of the home had been ordered by officials to have work done on the house. The building’s state of disrepair as well as extensive water damage meant it was no longer safe. In order to correct the problem, the owner hired a crew who was tasked with removing the dilapidated section of the building and securing it. As the hired crew worked to complete the task, the floor they were standing on collapsed. This trapped a third man in the building’s basement.
Recognizing that attempting to rescue themselves could result in further damage. The three workers trapped within the house sat tight until rescuers arrived at the Salford Street address. The two contractors who’d been standing on the floor at the time of the collapse were the first to be rescued.
Witnesses who watched the events unfold said that once the original two contractors were freed from the house, they swiftly informed the rescue crew that a third man was caught beneath the rubble. “Our understanding at this point is that that gentleman was not part of the construction crew and may have been in the building looking for scrap and that kind of thing,” said Karen Goss of L&I.
To remove the third man, specially trained firefighters were called to the scene. They employed the use of air bags to remove the rubble that had trapped the man. The entire process took about an hour to complete.
Freeing the trapped men was just one of the concerns the rescue crew had to deal with. They were also worried about how the collapsed floor impacted the structural integrity of the building which prompted them to evacuate the residents that lived on each side of water damaged building.
“They told us that we had to evacuate. We couldn’t be in our house in case the house next door collapsed,” said Marie Tyson who was located next to the damaged building.
Once freed from the rubble, the man who’d been in the basement was immediately transported to Penn Presbyterian Hospital for observation.
“This is a stunning example of the fine work the local firefighters do in this city,” said Drew Warren managing partner of a top personal injury firm in California. “Thanks to their quick actions and training, they were able to rectify the situation before anyone was seriously injured, or worse, killed as a result of the accident.”
Warren was also quick to point out the danger older buildings present to the city. “According to reports, this particular building has received numerous code violations over the years. This recent accident serves to highlight why it’s so important to deal with these dilapidated structures as quickly as possible. Not only do they pose a danger to the crews who have to work inside of them, but they are also attractive to teenagers and children who don’t know how delicate the structural integrity is.”