Man Killed in Folsom Apartment Staircase Collapse

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A 27 year old man died Friday afternoon after falling two and a half stories when an exterior staircase collapsed.

"We will have to determine if the wood was good or if it was rotted, if the bolts were long enough...we'll have to determine if negligence was involved, but we'd like to find out what happened first. If they knew there was a problem and didn't cordon it off, that could be a problem," the city of Folsom's Chief Building Official Steve Burger said.

Neighbors told FOX40 this was not the first, but the second time a staircase collapsed at the Legends at Willow Creek Apartments off South Lexington Drive.

"It's fair to say the company was aware of the problem and was in the process of fixing it," Larry Kamer said.

Kamer is a public relations official representing the owner/operators of the apartments, a San Francisco based company called Gerson, Baker & Associates. He confirmed that a different staircase collapsed at the property in June of 2014. Although that collapse did not result in an injury, Kamer said it prompted the company to inspect and set plans to repair all the staircases in phases. Kamer said the work including removing siding to inspect wood and then replace hardware bolting the concrete stairs and metal beams to the wood more securely.

But some residents td FOX40 crews only removed the siding without repairing the attachments and left it that way for a year.

"Nothing is being done here. But they did just raise our rent another $150 a month to do improvements on the facility so," resident Chris Toy said.

Toy lives in the same building where the staircase collapsed Friday. He spoke over Kamer during media interviews and told him now that there was a fatality, someone is taking about the collapses.

"There was a notice put out by the complex a year ago saying there was a problem, there was a collapse in one of the stairwells, that they would be working on it at that time," Toy said.

"I mean we saw what happened in Berkeley," Burger said.

Burger told FOX40 anytime metal meets wood, water tends to seep in, and can rot the wood. He said it appeared that metal rails framing the concrete steps were butted against wood on the staircase that collapsed, and all the other stairs at the property.

"The other stairs could last 20 years, or, something like this could happen," Burger said.

Kamer said a structural engineer would have to inspect all the other staircases to determine if they are at risk of collapsing.

The 27 year old man's name had not yet been released. Officers said his injuries were so severe, he died quickly on scene.