Jen Mara

Sudden collapses of residential decks are all too common in the United States. So perhaps it was bound to happen someday: In Stone Harbor, New Jersey, a two-story deck structure failed catastrophically while real estate agent Judith Frame was showing the home to a prospective buyer. The Cape May County Herald has this report (see: "Three Injured in Deck Collapse," by Helen McCaffrey).

"The collapse of the second-story deck was nearly simultaneous with the floor on the first-floor porch giving way as Frame stood there," reports the paper. "It left her no time to escape and avoid the avalanche of timber, metal, and pieces of hardware that showered upon her and two prospective buyers, according to police."

A passerby saw the collapse and stopped to help the victims and call the police, the paper reports. Local building officials are investigating.