Victim of Altoona mobile home collapse speaks out

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ALTOONA, Wis. (ALTOONA POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) -- ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- "It sounded like support beams were cracking," said Cody Schwoch.

Schwoch is describing what it sounded like as the awning, attached to his mobile home, collapsed on Thursday night.

"I looked outside and the awning from the kitchen collapsed, it seemed like it was structurally sound," he said.

He stepped outside to make sure things were safe. His girlfriend would be using the front door when she came home from work. But things were anything but stable.

"I'm standing there by the house and it just comes crashing down," he said.

Schwoch was trapped. His leg was pinned by the awning. Luckily his phone was already to his ear.

"I'm on the phone with my girlfriend while she's at work and she's scared and I'm scared too because I don't know what to do," he added.

His girlfriend's boss called 911. When rescuers were on scene they were careful not to get hurt themselves. Captain Shawn Loegering with the Altoona Fire Department says that meant having a handle on the awning.

"We had to secure it both top and bottom to make sure our rescuers underneath weren't gonna have it collapse on their head," Loegering said.

"I thought my leg was broken and my bone was poking out," Schwoch added. "I was so scared but I didn't really care until it was all over with."

He walked away with minor injuries. Doctors are asking him to stay off his leg until next week. His concern now is moving forward. But is glad to be safe, knowing things could have been a lot worse.

"God was looking out for me, I don't have a broken bone," he said.


On the evening hours of Friday, February 21, 2014 at approximately 12:28 AM the Altoona Police Department, Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department, Altoona Fire and Rescue, Township Fire/Emergicare and the Eau Claire Fire Department responded to 20 Pansy Lane for a confined space rescue. The initial report was that a man was trapped underneath a roof that collapsed on him.

Officers’ arrived on scene and found a male subject trapped underneath an awning located off the front porch to the residence. Due to the large amount of heavy, wet snow that had just fallen, the awning on the front of the residence collapsed. The male subject was identified as Cody Schwoch, 21 years old. Schwoch was found in a kneeling position due to his other leg being trapped underneath the awning. He was conscious and alert.

Altoona Fire, Eau Claire Fire and Township Fire braced the awning in place to prevent it from falling on the rescue crews. Air bags were inflated across the front of the awning after snow was removed from underneath it. The air bags allowed rescue members to remove Schwoch from underneath the awning.

He was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for further evaluation.
No further information is available at this time.