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Saskatoon man survives three-storey fall from downtown building

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A Saskatoon man is recovering in hospital after falling three storeys off the roof of a downtown building on Canada Day.

Ron Kocsis said his 24-year-old nephew, Jared Kocsis, was taking part in Canada Day celebrations at Winston's English Pub and Grill at around 9 p.m. when he climbed a ladder onto the roof from the second-floor patio.

From there, he made his way to the eastern side of the building and stepped off the roof of Hotel Senator and onto some rooftop cornice, which gave way when he stepped on it, sending him to the concrete sidewalk below.

"You can see where he had stepped on -- and he's only 165 pounds. The moment he stepped on it, it gave way," Kocsis said."

Kocsis said his nephew is currently recovering in intensive care after "many hours" of surgery.

Kocsis said Jared broke his right femur, his pelvis, and the joint connecting his pelvis and leg. He broke both wrists, with one of them protruding from his skin when first responders arrived. Jared didn't injure his brain or spine but did break his jaw. Kocsis said doctors had to put in multiple steel plates in his leg and pelvis to stabilize him.

"I believe it's life-altering injuries," Kocsis said. "His mother is just a mess, getting the call at midnight from the hospital that (her) son has fallen. It's tough also on my brother."

Kocsis has spent plenty of time examining the outside of the building since Canada Day. Using available images from Google Earth and Google Maps, he's noticed the condition of the cornice surrounding the building has changed over the past 10 years.

He believes that his nephew never should have been able to access the roof and that other pieces of cornice could fall and pose a risk to people walking on the sidewalk below with some of the pieces near the incident out of line with the others.

"This is clearly a totally preventable accident, tragic as it is," Kocsis said.

However, that's not the case. A statement from the Saskatoon Fire Department said the area was inspected and deemed safe.

"The SFD personnel identified that a missing portion of roof top cornice is a decorative foam piece attached to the exterior wall with bolts and glue: it is not a structural piece designed to sustain weight," the statement read.

"The remaining cornice pieces are not a danger to the public. The building is in the care and responsibility of the property owner."

CTV News reached out to the owners of the building Thursday but was unable to contact them.

Kocsis feels there has to be some changes at the bar after Monday's tragedy.

"I think there's got to be accountability and safeguards in regards to access to a rooftop with your patrons that are impaired by the establishment," he said. And no safeguards were taken."

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