The porch at this six-unit apartment building at 15 Washington St. in Augusta partially collapsed Friday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Ten people were displaced after a porch partially collapsed Friday evening at a six-unit apartment building on Washington Street, a city official said.

The porch of the triple-decker building at 15 Washington St. was the sole exit for the building. The porch partially collapsed due to “severe deterioration,” according to Rob Overton, Augusta’s director of code enforcement.

Because the deck was the only means of entry for five of the building’s six units, Augusta officials instructed the property manager to house the 10 residents at alternative housing until the porch can be repaired.

Overton said Monday he did not know where the tenants were being housed, but thought it might be at a hotel.

“There were no injuries,” Overton said of the porch collapse. “I believe someone noticed it and called the Fire Department. The Fire Department came and noticed the platform of the bottom structure, due to the severe deterioration, partially collapsed.”

The tenants will be allowed back inside the building once a temporary repair is made to the porch and inspected by code enforcement officials. Overton said he did not know the status of the repairs.

Yellow caution tape is hung Saturday at 15 Washington St. in Augusta after the porch at the six-unit apartment building partially collapsed Friday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The property manager is expected to bring the building up to code, Overton said, or face financial penalties.

The porch collapse comes amid a housing shortage across Maine, including in Augusta, where officials have discussed dangerous short-term rental living situations and how to consider regulations to mitigate the situation, such as a licensing system for rental units.

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