Quanishia ‘Peach’ Berry forced to have leg amputated after building collapses after Davenport building owner failed to maintain 116 year old property correctly. Anthony Wold issued $300 fine.
One of them made it out in the nick of time, while the other didn’t…
An Iowa woman had to have her leg amputated after a century plus building that she lived in with her wife suddenly collapsed over the weekend, trapping her.
Quanishia and Lexus Berry were sitting in their fourth-floor apartment in Davenport, Iowa, with their two cats Sunday evening when they spotted a crack above their bathroom doorway, Quad-City Times reported.
Forced to sacrifice leg to stay alive
Sensing that something was wrong, the couple grabbed their pets and ran for the front door, but they were too late.
While Lexus was able to get out of the building before it collapsed, Quanishia ‘Peach’ Berry was less fortunate, with the resident finding her self pinned by a pile of rubble and twisted metal for hours after the 116 year old apartment building suddenly collapsed.
‘The moment that we hit the door, it started to shake and rattle and literally … it all just happened in the blink of a second — the floors caved in, like collapsed,’ Lexus Berry, a local artist, recounted Wednesday. ‘So as the floors were falling, and [Quanishia] was falling four stories down, there were still two stories above her falling and two stories falling above me. It was all crumbling.’
The six-story building in Davenport partially collapsed around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Lexus urged first responders to continue searching for her wife, who she believed was still alive.
After hours of digging, rescuers finally found Peach Berry wedged in debris and determined that one of her legs would need to be amputated to pull her out.
Lexus said she was given a chance to briefly see Peach before the emergency surgery.
Wearing a hard hat and accompanied by three or four rescuers, Lexus walked through the building in the dark until she finally saw her wife.
‘I’ll never forget that image of the way she was trapped,’ she said. ‘I just got to say, ‘I love you, you’re OK, you got this. Don’t worry.’
Seven hours after the initial collapse, doctors removed Peach’s leg on site and rushed her to a hospital, mindful that the remainder of the building could come down at any moment.
‘It’s definitely something that’s like a miracle that she’s here,’ Lexus said. ‘Due to the circumstances, they had to make a judgment call. And that’s the best thing for her, honestly, because she’s still here.’
Lexus said she was still trying to come to grips with what had happened and prepare herself for what’s to come.
‘It’s just the feeling of knowing that she’s hurt, hurts me. I hate to see her in pain,’ she said.
The couple have been together for nine years, nearly three of them married.
Lexus is looking for a new wheelchair-accessible one-story rental home where she could take care of her wife. A friend has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Peach’s medical and housing expenses.
Meanwhile, five residents of the unstable building in Davenport remained unaccounted for and officials feared at least two of them might be stuck in a mound of debris.
Officials have said the building is continuing to shift and they need to knock it down, but they think any effort to find remains in the debris could cause the rest of the structure to crash.
This is the GoFundMe for Quanishia White-Berry, who had to undergo an emergency amputation in the rubble of the collapsed building in #Davenport.
You know what to do, Twitter.https://t.co/6PuG5a1gg6
— Karrie Higgins ♿️ (@karriehiggins) May 31, 2023
Building owner cited for failing to properly secure building
Davenport Police Chief Jeff Bladel said there were 53 tenants in the 80-unit building, and now most of them are struggling to find housing. They have not been allowed into the apartments to retrieve belongings, though crews were able to rescue some pets Tuesday.
City officials on Wednesday night released hundreds of pages of documents pertaining to the condition of the building, including structural engineering reports, violation notices and resident complaints, according to the Quad-City Times.
Among the documents was an inspection report by Select Structural Engineering, hired by building owner Andrew Wold to advise on building work, that described patches of brick façade that were separating from the building.
The report noted bulging that needed to be secured to ‘keep the entire face of the building from falling away when the bottom area(s) come loose.’
Wold released a statement dated Tuesday, his first comments since the partial collapse, saying ‘our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants’ and that his company, Davenport Hotel, L.L.C., is working with agencies to help them.
That same day, the city of Davenport filed an enforcement action against Wold, saying he had failed to maintain the property ‘in a safe, sanitary, and structurally sound condition’ before the collapse.
The city is seeking a $300 fine.