Floor Collapses at High School Birthday Party


Arapaho County Sheriff

Screenshots from Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department body camera footage shows the moment police responded to a floor collapse at a Colorado high school student’s party, which resulted in multiple injuries and a gas leak.

Annabelle Crouch, Staff Writer

At an invite-only birthday party on Feb. 26, the floor suddenly collapsed, sending around 150 teenagers plummeting into the basement. Shortly after, a natural gas leak occurred at the same house.

The address to a senior’s grandparent’s house, where the 18th birthday party took place, was leaked. As a result, a lot of unexpected people showed up and some even snuck in through the back. Senior Maya Pittman was invited to the party and told the USJ her account of the story.

As teenagers jumped on the ground floor of the house, warning signals of danger became apparent as soon as 30 minutes before the floor collapsed. Pittman said that she remembers people coming up from the basement to tell everyone that the floor was shaking around 15 minutes before the incident. Pittman tried to keep everyone safe as she gave out warnings, but no one listened.

As “Look at Me” by XXXTentacion began to play, the jumping amplified, and the floor suddenly collapsed. People called 911 at 9:33pm. Post-collapse, teenagers scrambled for help, petrified.

“In the moment I was terrified,” Pittman said. “I genuinely prepared myself for death.”

Pittman recalls entering a state of fight or flight, and screaming for help when she was finally rescued by a stranger who helped her pull herself out of the basement. During the incident, Pittman lost one of her shoes and began frantically searching for it until one of her friends said she could smell gas. They vacated the building as fast as possible.

Pittman sustained mild injuries, such as hitting her head, and she left with bruises, scratches, and soreness. Three others were taken to the hospital, with one seriously injured.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department responded to the incident, and though their response time was fast, with 12 deputies reporting to the house in three minutes, Pittman said they were no help at all.

“The cops came as soon as the floor caved in and they literally, I’m not even kidding, stood there and watched all of us struggle to get out of the pit – like not one cop helped,” Pittman said.

Pittman recalls the streets being scattered with individuals before everyone shortly returned home to post about the event, which Pittman found concerning.

“Everyone immediately took out their phones and recorded it which kinda caught me off guard.” Pittman said.

Ginger Delgado, the Public Information Officer from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, spoke to the USJ about the incident. The department originally responded to a noise complaint, unaware of the gas leak, shown in body camera footage sent to the USJ. When they entered the floor and smelled the gas, they reported the smell to South Metro Fire Rescue who then shut the gas line off. The Sheriff’s Office said they wanted to make sure all the kids were safe.

“The welfare and safety of the kids [was] our priority,” said Delgado.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s District reviewed the case and referred it to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, who closed the case determining no criminal charges would be pursued.

The Sheriff’s department has never seen an incident like this and were surprised by the outcome.

“It was indeed a miracle no one was seriously injured or died,” Delgado said.