Greensboro complex must fix all balconies after ‘perfect storm’ causes collapse that injured 2

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro apartment complex has a lot of work to do after two people were sent to the hospital when a balcony collapsed.

On July 25, three people were on a balcony at The Morehead Apartment Homes, off West Market Street, when the concrete floor on the second story gave way. Two of them were sent to the hospital.

Greensboro Code Enforcement Manager Troy Powell said Wednesday that both city and the apartment complex’s engineers agree that all of the balconies will need to be either replaced or retrofitted.

The city is now waiting for written notice of the agreement.

The balconies, as they are, are not strong enough to hold more than their own weight, meaning even one person on a balcony could cause it to collapse.

Powell says it was a “perfect storm” that led to the collapse with a combination of metal corroding under 4-year-old concrete and termite damage. He said the damage wasn’t visible because of the decorative siding placed over the balcony support system.

The structures were reportedly up to code when they were built but present-day codes are more stringent.

Cheryl Rimmer was one of the three people injured. She said she had just walked onto the balcony to join her husband and a friend when it gave way.

“It all just happened fast. It was like concrete icebergs if you will, is what I kind of fell down on,” Rimmer said. “And looking up there was still concrete in the corner which is why we moved so quickly away because we didn’t know what else was going to come down.”

Rimmer is recovering from significant bruising and was instructed by doctors not to work for a week as she heals.

“No balconies for our kids and I don’t know if I feel comfortable living on a bottom floor or a top floor because it could happen on either one,” Rimmer said.

Complex staff previously told FOX8 they had no comment about the collapse.

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