Home Fire News Deck collapses during firefighter memorial

Deck collapses during firefighter memorial


At least 32 people were injured, some critically, late Saturday afternoon when a second-story deck collapsed at the Glacier Presbyterian Camp in Lake County during a memorial service.

According to witness Leslie Dillon, around 50 people were gathered on the deck overlooking Flathead Lake following the service when the structure broke and fell.

Dillon said she was on the deck when it collapsed and that she walked away with some bruising, but many of her friends and relatives were taken away in ambulances.

Lake County Sheriff said Saturday evening there were no fatalities in the incident. He would not speculate as to what caused the collapse.

Medical personnel from Kalispell, Evergreen, Polson, Mission, Somers, Ronan, Lakeside and Smith Valley rushed adults and children from the scene in various conditions.

The most critically injured were airlifted from the scene by Alert and Life Flight helicopters.

Around 10 people drove to the hospital in their personal vehicles.

North Valley Hospital, Kalispell Regional Medical Center and Missoula hospitals were treating the victims, according to Lakeside/Somers Fire Chief Tom Havens.

Havens said the incident was under investigation as of Saturday evening.

The crowd was gathered to remember William Nickel, 60, a longtime Flathead Valley firefighter who died in April.

Glacier Presbyterian Camp is on the west shore of Flathead Lake south of Lakeside and is owned by Glacier Presbytery, according to the camp’s website.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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