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Woman nearly falls through floor during Madison apartment collapse

MADISON (WKOW) — At least 30 people are out of their home after a Madison building inspector ruled their apartment building is too unsafe to live in after part of it collapsed Monday afternoon.

A fleet of Madison firefighters, police officers and yellow tape surrounded an apartment building on McKenna Boulevard in west Madison.

“Oh my God,” said Gloria McDavid, a resident who was inside her apartment when the collapse started happening. “This is not TV, this is real life, what’s happening.”

She walked into her apartment and the floor beneath her feet started to cave in.

“As we were walking like towards the stairs part in the house, it started caving in and my husband grabbed me and snatched me out,” said McDavid.

Gloria’s husband was thankful he was there to help.

“Because if we would have stood on that floor much longer, all of us were going through and all of us could have been dead,” said Harold McDavid.

Firefighters said the partial collapse was caused by a construction crew doing work in the basement. Crews removed a support beam during a remodeling project and the ceiling began to cave in and fall down, according to Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster.

In a picture of the McDavid’s apartment, you can see the slanted floor. The spot where the bar connects to the ceiling, is now detached.

“They (construction crew) had been there, sitting there, waiting for their boss to come back cause that had happened already — and they didn’t tell anybody,” said Harold.

Michael Parisi said he saw the McDavids in shock and decided to call 911.

“God was watching out for her. It’s amazing she’s alive. Her husband just saved her just in time,” Parisi said. “She would have been just crushed.”

For hours, residents wondered if they would be allowed back in to get items or possible stay at their apartments. That’s not possible, according to a building inspector.

Some residents were escorted by firefighters and were able to go back inside to get some of their belongings. Others were reunited with their dogs.

Four of the units were too dangerous for anyone to go inside them. Those who live inside the specific units were not able to get any of their belongings, according to Schuster.

Nobody was hurt in the collapse.

Schuster said residents should expect to be out of their apartment for at least a few days, but that could be extended depending on the work that needs to be done.

As of Monday night, a resident who was displaced said the property management is offering to reimburse those displaced tenants who stay at a hotel nearby.

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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