Six people were taken to a hospital after a deck that was "likely overcrowded" collapsed at a townhouse Sunday night in Montgomery County, Maryland, authorities said.
The collapse happened about 9 p.m. on Walnut Cove Circle in Germantown. Video footage and photos show the deck plummeted and tilted toward the house.
One of the renters of the townhouse told News4 he was grilling out on the deck when the platform suddenly separated from the house. As it crashed down, charcoal from the grill spilled out and started a fire.
The resident, who declined to give his name, said his wife was briefly trapped.
“I heard a loud noise and so when I went outside, I saw everybody on the ground and trying to run,” neighbor Raphael Alvarez said.
The deck came to rest on an air conditioner, which the resident said he believes may have saved some of his friends and family members from further injury.
Montgomery County Fire and EMS evaluated nine people for injuries and took six people to hospitals, all with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
The renter said he had heard creaking noises before the deck gave way but never thought it would collapse.
Alvarez, the neighbor, said he was concerned about the safety of his own deck.
“They are all the same age, and now if one broke, maybe this one needs to be changed too,” he said.
The homes were all built in 1989, residents said.
Another neighbor said she would seek an inspection of her home’s deck.
“I don’t want that to happen to anybody, especially my family,” she said.
The county sent an inspector to the home early Monday to assess the damage and determine the cause of the collapse.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the county would offer free deck inspections, as officials did after a deck collapsed in another part of Germantown two years ago.
All six people who were injured had been released from hospitals as of Monday afternoon. Information on their injuries was not released.