Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
Dedra King died after a fatal fall while trying to get Christmas decorations out of her attic. The ladder used to get into the attic snapped.
A 54-year-old woman from Little Elm died Saturday after suffering a fatal fall while retrieving Christmas decorations.
"It's just devastating," said Alicia Scott, King's neighbor.
According to investigators, Dedra King was standing on a ladder to her attic when the stair broke.
The ladder immediately collapsed causing King to tumble to the ground.
Home Inspector Cody Atkinson says that attic ladders are really an accident waiting to happen.
"Stairs you know, will come off, so it's always good to check it every year," he said. "Any crack you see, they need to be replaced. I don't care how big."
According to police, It was a crack in a step that led to King's fatal fall.
"Every home I've ever owned has had one in it," said Little Elm Police Capt. Rodney Harrison. "You never think they're going to give way and break, but they're made out of wood."
More than cracks, it's also important to check the bolts and screws along the sides of the stairs as well as looking to see that the ladder is locked in place before climbing. Stairs deteriorate over time and with a mixture of weather, they can deteriorate at a faster rate.
Atkinson suggests checking the ladder every time it's used.