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3 transported to hospital after floor collapses during party

"Two seconds before the ground ended up breaking, you could hear it all snapping apart, but you didn’t have enough time to do anything about it," one partygoer said.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Three people were taken to the hospital after a floor collapsed during a birthday party in Arapahoe County Saturday night. 

South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) said crews were called to a home on East Princeton Place, southeast of Aurora, just after 9:30 p.m. 

South Metro said a portion of the first floor collapsed into the basement due to a party involving 100-150 juveniles.

Three of them were taken to the hospital, firefighters said. One was seriously hurt and the other two had minor injuries. 

According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, the homeowners were hosting a birthday party for their 18-year-old grandson. Deputies said it appears this was a horrible accident. Right now, there is no criminal investigation.

People who were at the party said everything just got out of hand, and the address of the home was shared on social media. 

That's how Cass Henry, 15, and his brother AJ Henry, 17, found out about the party. 

"I think it just got leaked around a little bit so everyone thought it was just an open house," Cass said. "People started just showing up."

>The video below is from a report from the night of Feb. 27, 2022.

The brothers were two of the teenagers who fell through the first floor of the home. Cass said he ended up going to the hospital for a broken ankle. 

"Two seconds before the ground ended up breaking, you could hear it all snapping apart, but you didn’t have enough time to do anything about it," Cass said.

South Metro said firefighters searched the entire home and confirmed no one was trapped. 

There was a natural gas leak after the collapse, South Metro said, but that has been shut off.

SMFR said emergency shoring was used to stabilize the damaged portions of the structure. The Red Cross is helping the displaced residents with housing, according to a tweet from SMFR.

“It’s amazing that no one was seriously hurt or killed," said Scott Richardson, special operations chief for SMFR.

Richardson said he's never before seen a floor collapse in his career quite like the one his crews responded to on Saturday. 

“It’s not the static weight of us just standing on [the floor], but if people are jumping up and down, and that creates what we call a ‘shock load’ to the floor, and then you can’t really predict what’s going to happen,” he said.

Shiling Pei, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, said most home floors are designed to withstand 40 pounds of pressure per square foot.

"The load on that floor when it collapsed is about probably 2.5 times the design live load," Pei said. “The fact that people are maybe jumping to music, that doesn’t help.”

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