A total of 14 people were ultimately transported to local hospitals after a 12-foot deck collapsed onto an open air seating area at the Rogue Water Tap House, located at 38 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Two were seriously injured. Savannah Fire is working with the bar management to ensure the facility is safe for a modified reopening. Six of those people were treated and released.
At 4:37 p.m. Saturday, March 17, 2018 Savannah Fire was dispatched to a collapsed deck at the Rogue Water Tap House Rescue 1 arrived on scene within two minutes at 4:39 p.m. They discovered a 12 foot-high courtyard deck that had fallen, injuring people who were seated on and beneath the 12 foot by12 foot platform.
Chris Clarke, the owner of Rogue Water, has since released a statement, as seen below.
We are deeply saddened by the terrible incident that occurred today during a time of celebration in our city. Our thoughts are with those injured and impacted.
The safety of our customers and staff are of the utmost importance and we have been working closely and cooperating fully with the City of Savannah Fire Marshal and building inspector.
The bar has since re-opened.
Brian Holloway was visiting his son from Ohio and was sitting at the bar when it all happened. He said he had never seen anything like it.
"People are flying out trying to get out of the bar," Holloway said. "My son and all the other bartenders went back to find out what was going on."
One firefighter was visiting from New York to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but ended up rescuing some of the victims.
"I ran in the back and some people were running in the back and I was yelling at people to get out," the first responder said. "Get out. That's what happened and I just did what I did.
The deck fell from a height of 12 feet onto people underneath. The restaurant manager said they heard the siren going off and people came running inside asking for them to call 911. They say they did what a restaurant should never do in other situations, which is drop everything they were doing and attending to their customers.
Authorities on the scene of building collapse in downtown Savannah, 13 people injured
A small structure described as a deck collapsed inside Rouge Water Tap House. The restaurant is next to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. WTOC says it may have been a second floor collapse.
Two people are seriously injured, according to Savannah Fire. More injuries may be involved. Injured people were transported to three local hospitals. Savannah fire is on scene. CEMA tells us as many as 13 are injured.
Photo provided by Ben Senger/WSAV