Tenant claims deck collapsed due to property owner's negligence - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tenant claims deck collapsed due to property owner's negligence

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EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB)  --  Five people were rushed to the hospital Saturday after a porch deck collapsed in East Ridge.

Channel 3 is looking deeper into the cause of the collapse, and if it could have been prevented.

"We've been crying out for two years about the issues we have with this apartment," says tenant, Chad Byers. 

Byers is just getting home from the hospital Sunday morning.  Saturday Byers, his daughters, fiancee and cousin were rushed the ER after his second story porch deck collapsed.

"We were about to conduct a Bible study," he says.  It was around 1 p.m. when the tenant stepped outside.  "As soon as I stepped on the deck it collapsed."   

Sunday yellow tape put up by East Ridge Police still ropes off Byers yard.  Based on the initial investigation authorities say loose nails could be to blame.

"We've complained numerous times," Byers says. 

The tenant says the problem isn't just his deck.  He's complained to his landlord many times about mold, leaks in his bathroom and kitchen.  Byers says knew the deck needed repairs, but never thought it was unsafe.

"When it fell it pined my fiancee," he says.  "Her lower back was injured." 

Byers says swelling in her brain has caused temporarily paralysis in his fiancee's legs.  His cousin recently underwent back surgery.  She landed on the air conditioning unit, and now has numbness in her legs.  His 2-year-old daughter has scratches all over her body.

"Our landlord is pretty decent," says tenant, Yucolinda Moses.  "I just think our property owner is not living up to par." 

Chad Byers isn't the only tenant with complaints.  Moses lives across the street from him, and says her deck also needs repairs.

"We have a deck and a little boy ourselves," Moses says.  "The deck is in desperate need of repair.  We don't use it." 

The tenants next door to Byers didn't want to go on camera, but say their deck collapsed last year.  They says it took management four months to replace it.  Thankfully no one was on the deck when it collapsed.   

Chad Byers says he just wants the property owners to step up, so this doesn't happen to someone else.

"The only thing I want them to do is take responsibility for what happened," he says. 

The company that owns Byers apartment is called 'Glen Properties'.  According to an employee, the owner lives out of town, and has no comment.   

East Ridge Fire and Building Inspectors are conducting a follow up investigation.  If they find the apartment in violation of city code, the owners could be cited to court.

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