Mom talks about ceiling collapse - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony and Jason Miles

Mom talks about ceiling collapse

Shawanna Williams' four children are home from the hospital after a ceiling collapsed on them around dinner time Friday night.

Witnesses say the collapse occurred above more than one room, caving in on the kids and their mother.

"The entire ceiling just...all of it just down in the floor," said neighbor Freddy Woods.

Williams says she complained to her landlord about a leaking water heater Friday morning, just hours before the ceiling caved in. She said he wasn't helpful then and even after the accident Friday night.

"When my landlord got out here, he told me 'Mop the water up. What do you want me to do? Get you a hotel for the night?'," said Williams.

Paramedics treated the four children between the ages of three and 14 before transporting them to LeBonheur Children's Medical Center and The Med. All the children were treated and released from the hospital by nightfall. Williams escaped injury.

Police suspect a leaking hot water heater may be to blame for the collapse. They are working to determine whether it could have been prevented and if the landlord is to blame.

"They said the hot water tank is in the ceiling. So something might have occurred with that to cause the ceiling to fall in," said Major Michael Hardy with the Memphis Police Department.

Sheet rock, insulation and scraps of ceiling now litter the house, and Williams worries if the home will actually be livable again for her children.

But she remains very thankful her family survived the accident.

"I'm blessed. I just thank the Lord that they're fine," Williams said


Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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