Owner of Mission Hill property whose porch collapsed may face sanctions, city officials say

The porch of 1538 Tremont St., which collapsed Friday night.
The porch of 1538 Tremont St., which collapsed Friday night. –Kathy McCabe/Globe Staff

A city building inspector ordered a Mission Hill property owner to hire an engineer to analyze the stability of a three-family residence on 1538 Tremont St. that was damaged by the collaspe of its back porch Friday night.

Approximately a dozen people were injured by the collapse, according to a spokeswoman for the city Inspectional Services Department, who said today that a violation “may be forthcoming’’ for the property owner, and orders to hire engineers are “typical practice when there is a collapse of this magnitude.’’

The department’s spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake said the property owner is Harold Raymond, who she believes is a design development consultant in Roxbury.


Calls placed to Raymond were not returned immediately Saturday.

By early afternoon, Action Emergency Services, a construction demolition firm from Revere, was preparing to remove the remnants of the fallen porch, which dangled off the red-brick apartment’s back facade late Saturday morning. Broken railings, a grill, and a stool littered the small back yard. A gaping hole, where a beam apparently pulled away, was also visible.

Around 1 p.m. Saturday, Abbie Crossen, 21, of Hingham, a student at Massachusetts College of Art, returned to the well-kept brick building that faces Mission Church with soft green bay windows but is now missing a third floor back porch to search for her iPhone. She said she lost it when the porch buckled with her on it.

She said a dozen art students, including some who attend the School of Museum of Fine Arts, were gathered on the porch Friday.

“There were 12 of us,’’ said Crossen, who said she suffered a minor cut to a leg during the collapse. “It was something else, for sure. Thankfully, everyone was not too badly hurt.’’

She was still puzzled by what unfolded in a matter in seconds. “I’m not sure what happened,’’ she said. “It just gave way.’’


Mike Bosse, deputy superintendent for Boston EMS, said at the scene that seven young adults were taken to area hospitals, mostly for neck and back injuries.

“Fortunately, nobody had any life-threatening injuries,’’ Bosse said. “Nobody was knocked unconscious, nobody has any broken bones.’’

Northeastern University students who live in the adjacent apartment building said the two buildings are occupied by college students, some of whom attend nearby Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Massachusetts College of Art.

Students who lived in the apartment where the porch collapsed are believed to attend the art school, said Jason Cho, who lives in the building next door.

“They don’t have a lot of parties,’’ said Cho, 21, a third year pharmacy student at Northeastern. “They pretty much go out there to chill.’’

The site of a collapsed porch surprised Cho and his roommate, Ravi Hirani.

“This is really ridiculous,’’ said Hirani, 21, as he stood on his second floor, wooden porch next door. “I’m glad we have a garage beneath us,’’ he said.

Neither Hirani nor Cho were home when the porch collapsed late Friday night.

The residence belongs to one of two apartment buildings located in the middle of a small block, and it is adjacent to a campaign office for mayoral candidate Charlotte Golar Richie.

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