A chaotic scene unfolded in Hartford Saturday night when a porch on a house collapsed.
It happened during a birthday party at a home on Campfield Avenue.
The 20 people, including children who were standing on it, dropping 15 to 20 feet to the ground.
In all, at least a dozen people were injured, including two children.
Many of those kinds of porches can be found throughout the city.
This particular one was built in 1979. That was the first and only time it was inspected.
Under state law, to remain compliant with codes, single or two-family homes only need to be inspected at the time of construction, which this was.
Officials say commercial buildings, or three or more family homes, get inspected in Hartford every three to five years.
With up to 20 people on the porch at the time of the collapse, many expressed concerned over the weight.
That wasn’t a violation either. Building inspectors from the city officials said the porch was 18 by 8. Residential codes allow 40 pounds per square foot.
With 144 square feet to work with, the porch should have been able to hold 5,760 pounds.
Divide that by the 20 people, who were on the porch, and in order for a violation to be found, the average weight of one person would have had to have been 288 pounds.
When you factor in that some were children, it just doesn’t seem feasible.
City officials say the porch that was built in 1979, was simply too old.
Thankfully, there were no life-threatening injuries, but this has to be a concern for a lot of city residents living in single or two-family homes, with old porches.
Again, they legally don’t need to be inspected after it’s been constructed. So, if you have concerns, officials say get in touch with your landlord.
If action isn’t taken, call the city’s Licenses & Inspections (L&I) Division at (860) 757-9200.
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