18 injured in deck collapse at soldier's welcome home party - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

18 injured in deck collapse at soldier's welcome home party

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CHERRYVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

Nearly 20 people were injured in Cherryville when a deck collapsed during a welcome home party for a soldier.

The collapse happened at a home along Oak Grove Drive near North Mountain Street on Sunday.

Eighteen people suffered minor injuries and three people were taken to hospitals in Cleveland and Lincoln counties, according to the Cherryville Fire Department.

The fire department helped rescue four people who were trapped in the rubble. Two were trapped under the deck and two were trapped on the deck.

WBTV has learned there were 22 people the deck, which was built 20-years ago, when it collapsed.

The deck was about 10-12 feet off of the ground and collapsed in the center.

Wanting to make sure this does not happen to you, WBTV talked with two local contracting companies.

Charles Nrhoden, Jr., America's Choice, said the first thing homeowners need to do is make sure their deck is properly bolted to their home.

"The bolts should be every two feet. So, if they are not seeing bolts go into their house every two feet, that deck can collapse with enough people on there," Nrhoden said.

Contractors also told WBTV that homeowners should not neglect the wood they stand on. Robert Wilson, Alnew Renovations, recommends getting your deck power-washed and sealed every two or three years.

"Waiting too long to get it sealed will cause the wood to crack and of course that makes the structure weaker," Wilson said.

WBTV is told Homeowners also need to remember to look underneath their deck. Weather damage can lead to warped wood and sinking support posts.

A final tip from the experts: make sure you know who you are hiring. The contractors we spoke with said the best thing you can do is check with the Better Business Bureau before making a hire.

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