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1 killed, 1 hurt in Jamaica Plain deck collapse

The scene of a porch collapse in Jamaica Plain.Laura Crimaldi/Globe staff

One worker was fatally injured and another critically hurt Tuesday when wood decking they were installing on a Jamaica Plain residence collapsed, Boston police said.

The men were working on a third-floor rear porch at 89 Forest Hills St. when they fell at 10:37 a.m., officials said. One worker fell about 30 feet to the ground and later died, said Boston police Lieutenant Michael McCarthy, a department spokesman.

The other worker landed on a porch attached to the second floor, he said. He was being treated Tuesday for critical injuries, said Officer Neva Coakley, a department spokeswoman.

Police did not release the victims’ names. The incident is considered to be an accident, McCarthy said.


An initial review by city inspectors found the wrong permit had been pulled for the porch work, Melina Schuler, a spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, said in an e-mail. The permit was granted Monday and indicates it is for replacing worn-out decking.

The job, however, entailed a total rebuilding of the porches and required that structural drawings be submitted and approved by the Inspectional Services Department, Schuler said. She also said the work had begun before the permit was issued.

Inspectors are still considering whether to issue violations, Schuler said. If that happens, the violation would be directed to the person who applied for the permit, she said.

The permit lists Erik Zutrau as the applicant. He did not return messages Tuesday.

Land records list 89 Forest Hills Realty Trust as an owner of the property. The trustee did not return messages Tuesday.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, a spokesman said.

Raleigh Strott, who lives nearby, said she heard lumber crashing. She said a man with the injured worker immediately made a call on a cellphone.

“I heard the other guy start yelling,’’ she said. “He was already on the phone with 911.”


The victim was on the pavement below, she said.

The man on the phone could be heard yelling that his friend had fallen and landed on his head, she said.

Women from a neighboring house urged the man who later died not to move, Strott said.

Another neighbor, Charlene Wheeler, said a crying man told emergency responders his coworker had fallen.

“The guy came out and said his partner fell off the porch and bust his head,” Wheeler said.

She said she heard the man tell authorities the other worker “slipped or something and fell through.”

While speaking with officials, the man collapsed and was taken away by ambulance, she said.

“He was in shock,” Wheeler said.

Nina Peguero, who was inside the house, described in a telephone interview hearing the accident.

“The sound was super loud, and we went outside and he was on the floor,” said Peguero, 40, who lives in West Roxbury. “Supposedly, another [worker] was on the second” porch below. Peguero described the worker she saw on the ground as a man who might be in his 40s.

Globe correspondent Kiera Blessing contributed to this report. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at