Massive party in Denton ends with floor collapsing into apartment below
A jam-packed apartment party in Denton ended abruptly Sunday morning when the floor went crashing into the apartment below.
The incident was caught on video from multiple angles. People at the party, many of them UNT students, had to crawl from the empty second-floor apartment, back to the third. Somehow, injuries were minor.
Videos show water spewing from broken pipes as people climb over beams and plywood to escape.
It could've been life or death for Carley Carroll, who lives in that second-floor apartment below the party. Carroll and her three roommates, all sophomores at the University of North Texas, were not home at the time. They were at the Denton Police Department, making a noise complaint just before 2 a.m.
“I have nowhere to go. Everything I own is in there,” said Carroll. “That's life-threatening. If we were in our living room, we wouldn't have made it out because by what we've seen, it's just completely gone."
Carroll and her roommates are not the only ones affected. Fifty other residents are also displaced.
“People gotta grab their wallets, keys, backpacks because we have school tomorrow," said Trent Blackburn.
Police estimate there were 100 people at the party. Carroll says that's typical; she's called the cops on the partygoers before.
"We've called and said, 'It looks like the ceiling is going to cave in,' so I feel like with us saying that, there could've been more that was done," said Carroll.
Denton Police are working to confirm the previous noise complaints. Police say those type of calls are low priority in nature and people have usually left the party by the time officers arrive.
This incident was upgraded to a possible mass casualty incident. There is now an investigation into the structural failure. Students affected by this say both the apartment management and the university have helped secure places for them to stay, mostly in hotels or dorms and food.
Students who live on the first floor said they're still dealing with the effects of the collapse. One girl said a bathtub from an upper floor fell into her closet on Monday.
While other people started recording pandemonium at the party, Mickey Hicks' military training kicked in.
"I just see water spraying everywhere from the plumbing,” he recalled. “People were yelling, screaming. Just trying to find a way to out."
The 22-year-old was among the 100 partygoers inside this apartment when he felt the floor shaking.
“I like to use common sense. There were too many people jumping. We're on the third floor. You could feel it,” he said. “I took three steps. Heard chaos and screaming. I was like, 'I bet you the floor just fell in.'"
Hicks turned back around, opened the door and started reaching for arms.
"I think the military really taught me that,” he said.
Hicks just got out of the Army and says he'll soon start school at UNT. He guesses he pulled 30 people who were cut and bleeding but not seriously injured.
A spokesman for the complex said structural engineers have been examining the building. Until they get a report, the complex doesn't know if the damage is repairable or not.
The apartment complex says it will give residents seven days of rent credited to them. Denton Police and Fire are no longer investigating it, but it could progress as a civil matter.
Carroll says fake fundraising pages have been set up by people pretending to be her and her roommates, hoping to take advantage of their situation. They are asking people not to donate to those fundraisers.