Balcony Collapses Near Rio in Gaithersburg

by MCS Staff
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Balcony Collapses Near Rio in Gaithersburg

Earlier this evening a balcony collapsed at an apartment near Rio Lakefront, at the Sawyer Flats complex (9802 Mahogany Dr).

One adult worker/handyman was hurt in the fall with a traumatic injury.  Several families have been displaced after a building inspector posted ‘unsafe to occupy’ signs on the apartments.

Photos and information courtesy of Pete Piringer.

 

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7 comments

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TParris September 26, 2020 - 9:24 am

Wow. I sure hope the builder is prepared to go broke paying for this one. You can bet the other apts are shoddy too.

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Zeda Ruhl September 27, 2020 - 2:19 pm

It could be from termite damage.

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monika manesh September 27, 2020 - 3:39 pm

I was out on my third floor balcony and saw it happen!! Sounded like an earthquake shook its foundation. I could hear everything falling to the ground, which included apartment 3, 2, 1!! I heard the poor worker screaming, crying out… Everything attached to that balcony was pulled loose and fell on that poor man, and fell to the ground. Def not termites!! Was rotten wood from very old balconies.

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Kim September 27, 2020 - 10:24 pm

I used to live in those apartments and I can tell you that all they do is paint on top of paint and cover up for a cosmetic look. We had mold sweeping through out windows and their maintenance crew came to our apartment at least twice just to paint over it to make it look fresh. They never did anything to get to the source or remove the mold. It wasn’t until the third time that my husband became frustrated because the mold kept resurfacing and mandated that the maintenance crew remove the whole window frame, remove and replace the rotted molded wood. We took photos of it and everything. We couldn’t believe the condition we were living in and all they would do is paint over it. My kids were constantly sick with respiratory infections and it was even suggested by their pediatrician that we check for mold because of the repetitive sick and emergency appointments. So it doesn’t surprise me that their balconies collapsed. They may have renovated cosmetics of their properties to allure new tenants, but the same old foundation remains. They need to gut everything and rebuild from ground up.

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monika manesh September 28, 2020 - 11:17 pm

We were told that the entire wooden structure is termite infested! I leaned on that fourth floor opening and the whole thing moved and is ready to fall to the ground! That’s how rotten it is. Its so dangerous! Maintenance roped off the fourth floor to protect all of us! I really felt like this was 9/11 again at World Trade Center! One minute building was standing, next minute total collapse!

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monika manesh September 28, 2020 - 11:18 pm

and Kim, thank you for that info!!

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Monika W Manesh July 4, 2021 - 9:57 pm

Well, it’s now July 4, 2021. It’s been a loooong time since the balcony collapsed in September 2020 at Sawyer Flats. The apartment building owner instructed the maintenance crew to install metal brackets (probably not what they are actually called!) to attach the third floor railing to the house. The brackets they used are not up to the Montgomery County Code. Too small, insecurely attached to the wall structure, that is damaged from termite infestation, reported in September 2020. I’m on third floor, next to the balcony that preciously collapsed. They replaced a few boards on my balcony, but the structure shakes when you walk on it. Warped boards attached to the house, that creak and some have actually fallen down, so there’s noise when you walk across the deck!

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