Woman says bounce house collapsed on 2 children, owner says they were never in danger
A mother claims a power outage caused the inflatables to collapse at a Granger bounce house on Saturday, trapping two children inside.
The owner of the bounce house says the children were never in danger.
The woman is still shaken up by the incident. She said it was the scariest thing she's ever been through.
The owner says this is the first time something like this has ever happened and there was nothing they could do about it.
Jennifer Taets was having a birthday party for her now 4-year-old daughter Paige.
She scheduled it at the House of Bounce Fun Center in Granger. Only 10 minutes after she arrived, the power went out.
"We instantly realized that if the power goes out, the inflatables are going to go down if there’s no generator,” said Taets. “No generator kicked on so we ran back there.”
She found a pitch-black room and could hear children screaming.
“Two of the children were still trapped in one of the bouncy houses,” said Taets. “There was four grown men pulling on the bouncy house, trying to pull it up.”
She says the group of parents got the trapped children out safely. Jennifer was given a full refund, and says she's glad they got the kids out in time.
“I feel if it wasn’t for the quick actions of the parents and the men who were strong enough to pull up the bounce houses because they’re extremely heavy, the girls could’ve easily suffocated,” said Taets.
Owner Greg Laskowski says the inflatables posed no threat to the children because their inflatables either have a mesh top or no top at all.
“There was really no safety concern at all,” said Laskowski.
He says their emergency lights are tested regularly, and they can't control the weather.
“It’s unfortunate, and not a fun party for the kids, I’ll give them that, that’s why we didn’t charge them,” said Laskowski. “It’s an unfortunate situation. It’s out of our hands, we can’t control it.”
Jennifer says she doesn't want to harm the business, but wants parents to think twice before letting their kids in a bounce house.
“I wanted to kind of raise awareness because as a mother, I had never thought of the power going out and them not having a generator and the bounce houses deflating,” said Taets.
A spokesperson with Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which regulates amusement park rides, says he spoke with several officials and none are aware of any agency or ordinances that regulate bounce houses.
The St Joseph County building commissioner says backup generators are not required in building codes.
The only lighting required is exit signs to guide people out of the building.