Ceiling falls on boy in public housing complex

Mother reported water damage day before drywall fell



A piece of ceiling drywall fell on a boy who was sitting in a stairwell at a public housing apartment complex this weekend, according to a police report.

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The report states that on Sat. Aug. 17 at about 11:20 a.m., police officers responded to a call about an injured juvenile at 16 Flood St., an apartment complex maintained by the Charleston Housing Authority. They met with the mother of the boy, who said that her son was sitting at the bottom of a staircase in a breezeway at the apartment building. "As her son was sitting," the report says, "a piece of the ceiling dry wall detached from the ceiling and fell directly on top of him." The boy complained about a headache, so EMS took him to MUSC, where emergency room personnel found that the boy was not injured.

Police looked at the area of the ceiling from which the drywall had fallen and "observed the drywall appeared to be bubbled and swollen as if previously damaged by water," the report says. City maintenance workers were called in to fix the ceiling, and today the second-floor ceiling is patched with a roughly three-foot square piece of plywood.

The mother, who declined to give a comment to the City Paper, told police that she had previously put in a maintenance request for the damaged ceiling but that it had not yet been fixed.

Don Cameron, CEO of the Charleston Housing Authority, says that the mother did file a maintenance request on Fri. Aug. 16, the day after torrential rain flooded downtown streets and closed many city offices, but he says the complaint was about a ceiling leak in an apartment, not in the stairwell. Cameron says maintenance workers were able to inspect the damage in the apartment on Friday. He says maintenance workers are currently working on finding the source of the leak.

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