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Nashua;40.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nfew.png;2014-11-01 04:17:19
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  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Suffering a compound fracture of his elbow, and numerous cuts and bruises, Jim Pitka surveys the debris Monday, August 9, 2010, from the deck that fell off his condo at Twin Ponds in Nashua, last Friday night. Pitka said he was the only one on the deck at the time, while two of his neighbors were standing on the ground below, witnessing the collapse.
  • Read a letter from Twin Oaks Manager Debbie Logan warning residents to stay off their decks while the accident is investigated
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Joist hangers from Pitka's deck are remain intact on the condo, but most of the nails don't appear to have been pounded into the joists, securing the deck to the building.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    The two angles posts securing Pitka's deck were torn out of the chipboard exterior wall below when it collapsed Friday night.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Suffering a compound fracture of his elbow, and numerous bruises, Jim Pitka surveys the debris Monday, August 9, 2010, from the deck that fell off his condo at Twin Ponds in Nashua, last Friday night. Pitka said he was the only one on the deck at the time, while two of his neighbors were standing on the ground below and witnesses the collapse.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Suffering a compound fracture of his elbow, and numerous bruises, Jim Pitka, right, talks with his lawyer, P. Scott Bratton, left, from Lowell, Mass., and a neighbor as they survey the debris Monday, August 9, 2010, from the deck that fell off Pitka's condo at Twin Ponds in Nashua, last Friday night. Pitka said he was the only one on the deck at the time, while two of his neighbors were standing on the ground below and witnesses the collapse.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Jim Pitka, right, stand with his lawyer, P. Scott Bratton outside Pitka's condo Monday, August 9, 2010, in Twin Ponds. The deck behind them collapsed Friday night, sending Pitka to the hospital, and nearly missing a pair of neighbors below.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Twin Ponds warns residents to stay off decks

NASHUA – Residents of the newly built Twin Ponds at Nashua apartment complex won’t be stepping out on their decks for a summer breeze anytime soon.

On Friday, a 49-year-old city man was injured after falling 15 feet when the second-story deck outside his apartment collapsed just before midnight, officials said.

James Pitka, a finance manager at MacMulkin Chevrolet, was on the deck talking to three friends who were on the ground, when the deck completely separated from the building and sent Pitka into a frightening plunge, his lawyer, Scott Bratton, said.

“It’s miraculous I wasn’t killed,” Pitka said.

One of Pitka’s friends called 911 and he was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, where he was treated for a broken elbow and received stitches for lacerations. He was also badly bruised by the fall, his lawyer said.

The deck, which was at the rear of the building, now lies in ruins, covered with yellow tape warning people not to touch it. All of the second-story decks in the complex appear to be supported by pairs of 2- by 6-inch beams.

The city is looking into the incident, which occurred at 239 Brook Village Road, according to Mike Findley, manager of the Building Department.

“We’ve already been down there investigating,” Findley said.

Findley said Twin Ponds management has volunteered to bring an engineer on the site to determine whether all decks are unsafe at the development’s several buildings or just those at Pitka’s unit. The engineer will soon submit a report on his findings to the city, he said.

In the meantime, all residents have been warned to stay off their decks, according to a letter from Twin Ponds manager Debbie Logan, who denied the collapse happened when questioned by a reporter and refused to comment further.

A copy of Logan’s letter obtained by The Telegraph confirms the accident occurred and states Pitka was injured, though complex officials didn’t know how badly he was hurt.

“Unfortunately, there was an accident this evening,” she wrote in the letter dated Aug. 6. “One of the second floor decks fell entirely off the building while a resident was standing on it. He is being transported to the hospital. We are unaware of his injuries.”

Logan warns residents to stay off their decks “effective immediately” until a thorough inspection can be completed “so we do not have another accident.” The letters were attached to doors in the complex, one resident said.

Logan said the complex is owned by Jerry Levin, of Massachusetts, who did not return a phone call from The Telegraph.

Twin Ponds is a new development where construction is still under way. It replaced the old Brook Village.

Bratton said Pitka is in a cast for his elbow and is in considerable pain. He’s out of work until he heals, his lawyer said.

Bratton said he is still looking into who the responsible parties are, but said he believes the matter is clearly one of negligence that can be settled out of court.

“I don’t believe this will ever see a courtroom,” Bratton said.