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Inspection report released detailing cause of balcony collapse at Greensboro apartment complex

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Wood-destroying organisms and water damage are the two big factors that have been revealed to have caused the July 25 collapse of a balcony at Morehead Apartments in Greensboro.

On Monday, FOX8 obtained a 40+ page report put together by Partner Engineering.

They were tasked with determining what exactly caused a second-floor balcony to collapse. The incident injured three people and sent two to the hospital.

Shortly after the incident, Greensboro Code Enforcement Manager Troy Powell and the apartment complex's engineers agreed that all of the balconies will need to be either replaced or retrofitted.

On Aug. 1 and 2, Partner Engineering was brought in to assess what needed to be done to fix the problems.

Their assessment found that almost all of the balconies had “corrosion, support breakage and structural failures.” There were also signs of water buildup and water damage.

More than 130 photos were taken and studied that identify the problem.

Partner Engineering also found that the balconies, as is, are only able to hold the “self-weight” of the concrete framing. That means that any additional weight could cause them to fall.

Since the July incident, tenants at Morehead Apartments have been restricted from being on their balconies. The complex has also asked that people remove anything they may have on their balconies.

The City of Greensboro also has routine “drive-by” inspections to make sure that the complex and tenants are in compliance until the balconies are brought up to code.

"When the building is in compliance, we will issue such notice of compliance in the same manner as we issued the prohibited occupancy of the balcony,” Powell said.

“We will post it on every door of the building and give it to management. Until that time, occupancy of the upper and lower balcony is prohibited. If this prohibition isn’t complied with, we will have no choice but to require the apartment management to have that apartment vacated and secured through condemnation until the repairs are complete.”

Representatives from the complex declined to comment, but we are told that a plan is being developed.

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