A fourth-floor fire escape partially collapsed while a man was sitting on it in Brooklyn, according to police.
The man, in his 20s, was smoking on the fire escape outside his building in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday when one of the metal bars gave way. The man tumbled down and was taken to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition Monday.
News of the fall surprised Karina Sahlin, a tenant who had hung out on the escape a day earlier, showing it to a friend.
"I showed her, 'this is the fire escape, this is how you open the grate,'" Sahlin said. "She's like, 'is this safe?' I was like, 'it's fine.' And then the next day the dude apparently fell off."
The FDNY told NBC 4 New York on Monday that the last time the fire escape had been inspected was in 2014 and that the building's owner never received a a violation. Fire companies are tasked with taking periodic looks at the escapes in their areas, but it's up to owners to maintain the metal structures.
The landlord of the building didn't return calls from NBC 4 New York seeking comment.
An I-Team investigation in 2015 found that more than 2,000 calls to 311 about unsafe fire escapes between 2014 and August 2015, only about 500 resulted in violations.
NBC 4 New York learned on Monday that no city agency even has an estimate of how many fire escapes are in the city of more than 1 million buildings.
Still, some tenants said they felt safe. Ya-Ya Scott said that the landlord does " a very good job of maintaining the building."
But another neighbor said that in the five years he'd lived at the building he'd never seen anyone investigate the fire escape.
The city Housing Preservation and Development agency and the FDNY told NBC 4 New York that they are looking into the matter.
The FDNY said landlords should pay attention to the condition of fire escapes but reminded tenants that they shouldn't spend time on the emergency structures.