SHARON — A dozen people were hurt when a porch deck collapsed on the back of a house overlooking the White River during a Fourth of July gathering Thursday evening.
Rescuers said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening but five people were transported to hospitals, some with what were believed to be fractures to their legs, ankles, and knees.
“Most of the people just had bumps and bruises and didn’t get transported but we did check out probably 12 people,” recalled South Royalton Fire Chief Paul Brock, who was assisting the incident commander, Sharon Fire Captain Nathan Potter, at the scene.
Brock said a gathering of family and friends had been under way at a residence on River Road opposite the Sharon Commerce Park when the home’s deck abruptly failed just after 9 p.m.
“I would say it was caused by the volume of people who were on it and there may have been some other structural issues there,” Brock said.
“It was a wide range of people, a lot of family and some friends,” the chief said, noting that ages ranged from an infant, who was not hurt, to young children to adults in their 60s who ended up falling between 12 and 14 feet to the ground.
Mark Jackson, a home builder who was visiting, said he thought the two support beams that ran underneath the deck, parallel to the ground broke apart.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he told the Valley News.
In addition to the Sharon and South Royalton volunteer fire departments and the Sharon and South Royalton rescue services, Hartford Fire Department struck a general alarm and responded with their heavy rescue truck and two ambulances. White River Valley Rescue and First Branch Ambulance also responded.
Brock said despite initial reports of entrapment the rescue effort at the scene went smoothly.
“We had a couple of people who were still near the deck who were injured that they didn’t want to move but we were able to get them out,” Brock said, concluding, “It was dark but everybody worked very well together to get them the help they needed.”
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