Two construction workers were injured when a town house under construction in Fairfax County collapsed in high winds yesterday, plunging them three stories on to lumber and concrete blocks.

A second town house, next door, collapsed minutes later as county firefighters were preparing to enter the wreckage of the first.

The collapse came at 12:27 p.m. as workers Richard Carraro and Stephen Nutt were putting concrete blocks in a town house in the 8100 block of Tis Well Drive near Mount Vernon, according to county fire and rescue spokesman Stephanie Hoover.

"Everything came down with them -- lumber and concrete blocks and all," said one firefighter who was called to the scene. "They were lucky that they landed on top of it and not under it."

Both men were removed from the rubble after about 10 minutes and taken to Mount Vernon Hospital.

Carraro, 21, who lives in Burke, was reported in critical condition suffering from "partial paralysis of the lower extremities." Nutt, 20, who lives in Woodbridge, was in good condition at the hospital with cuts and bruises.

Rescue workers from Fire Company 9 in Mount Vernon were preparing to explore the wreckage of the first house when the house next door fell apart before their eyes.

Mike Ferraguto, President of the Briary Construction Co., employer of the two workers, blamed the collapses on high winds.