Published: Dec 03, 2012 08:36 AM
Modified: Dec 04, 2012 07:02 PM
CARRBORO - A 10-year-old boy fell about four feet when a concrete stair tread in Collins Crossing Apartments collapsed beneath him on Nov. 24.
The boy received medical attention and was taken to the hospital, said Rick Cox, Carrboro deputy fire chief. Cox said he didn’t know the extent of the boy’s injuries.
Brenda Wishart, spokeswoman for Aspen Square Management, which bought about two-thirds of the units at the Jones Ferry Road complex last June, could not be reached for comment.
Since the accident, the broken stairs in Building B have been cordoned off with yellow caution tape and wooden slabs spray painted orange nailed to the entrance of the stairwell, both at the top and bottom of the stairs.
The collapsed stair tread was replaced by a wood step and supported with long wooden planks underneath the staircase.
Mayor Mark Chilton spoke with Town Manager David Andrews Thursday, soon after he learned of the incident, and said the town planned to send inspectors to the complex Friday morning.
Cox said the stairs at Collins Crossing were noted as an issue in previous fire inspections. But the process to replace the stairs is extensive, he said, and not as simple as tearing down the existing set.
“Our building inspections department is working in conjunction with the management to take care of the reoccurring issue,” he said.
Andrews said a set of stairs at the apartment complex collapsed last year.
“Staff attempted over several occasions to take care of safety problems especially with the stairs, and it appears the problem has not been resolved,” Andrews said.
Collins Crossing residents, UNC students and members of the Human Rights Center of Chapel Hill and Carrboro participated in two protests against rent increases at the complex in the past month.
Amanda Ashley, who has lived there since January, said the 40-year-old apartment complex is in dire need of repair. Ashley walks past buildings in the complex with fractured drain pipes and falling shingles to reach her apartment.
“Even if you renovate, the bones of the building are worn out and people will get hurt,” she said.