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After fatal collapse at apartment complex, all staircases to be replaced

Folsom police inspect the site of a collapsed stairway at an apartment complex.
Folsom police inspect the site of a collapsed stairway at an apartment complex. Sacramento

The staircase that collapsed in Folsom on Friday, killing a 27-year-old man, was just one of 32 in need of repair within the 280-unit apartment complex.

Construction at The Legends at Willow Creek, at 180 S. Lexington Drive, has been underway since a previous collapse about a year ago. The complex is owned by San Francisco-based Gerson Bakar & Associates, which manages about 10,000 apartment units across the West Coast.

The complex’s 32 staircases have all been scheduled to undergo renovation or repair, Gerson Bakar spokesman Larry Kamer said.

“They’re going back and looking at staircases that have already been repaired and are going to inspect them again, (and) they’re shoring up those not yet repaired with wooden bracing,” Kamer said.

Ultimately, all staircases will be renovated, Kamer said. Construction crews will temporarily remove the decorative siding and replace the interior wood on the side of all buildings before adding more heavy-duty bracing to secure the stairways, he said.

While the stairways are being repaired, the collapsed structure will be inspected for signs as to what caused its malfunctioning, Kamer said.

The staircase that collapsed had been scheduled for repair, but Kamer said he did not know what state it was in at the time of the collapse. The man killed in the collapse was not a resident of the complex.

A structural engineering group analyzed all the stairways at the complex on Friday evening, and a construction crew installed wooden supports Saturday.

“We’ve secured a number of personnel and equipment to get going, and we’re working with them to get repairs underway as soon as possible,” Kamer said. “We’re not really concerned about it being a holiday weekend.”

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