Philly Balcony Collapse Questions Fire Escape Inspection

CBS-3 reports that the third floor balcony of the Lexington Apartments on the 4200 block of Chester Avenue in West Philadelphia collapsed yesterday around 10:00 a.m.

2 Critically Injured in Philly Balcony Collapse

Two men were critically injured in the West Philly balcony collapse. A 36-year-old man was the most seriously injured. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in extremely critical condition with head trauma. A second man, 31, was also taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in critical condition with trauma to the left side of his body. A small group of people from neighboring apartments rushed out to help. Tyler Santos, an off-duty EMT was among the early responders. Neighbors report a tragic scene and are now questioning the safety of the building.

Was Lexington Apartments in Compliance with New 2017 Fire Escape Codes?

The accident raises questions as to whether the building owners were in compliance with the Philadelphia fire escape and balcony inspection code. In 2017, Philadelphia began requiring inspection of fire escapes and balconies with Philadelphia Fire Code section F-1011. According to the new code, the first inspection was to be completed by July 1, 2017. Owners must retain Professional Structural Engineers to conduct the inspection and a balcony must pass a load requirement minimum of 100 pounds per square foot to be certified as safe. Inspections are required every 5 years.

Building Owners Have Duty to Maintain Building Safety

Building owners have the duty to keep you safe. As part of their duty, they are responsible for the maintenance and inspection of their property, including the safety of balconies and stairs. If owners are negligent in their duty, they can be held liable. The apartment complex, managed by Altman Management, has not commented on the accident however Philadelphia L&I has now condemned the fire escapes.

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Philadelphia Balcony, Deck, Porch Collapse Lawyers

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