Local News

Fire At Multimillion-Dollar Home Ruled Accidental

Posted April 22, 2004

— Investigators believe an electrical malfunction caused a fire that left a luxury home under construction in west Raleigh heavily damaged Wednesday night.

Detectives ruled Thursday that the fire at the home on Lake Boone Trail was an accident.

Subcontrators told investigators they noticed a pine-burning smell earlier in the week, but thought it was from work being done on other parts of the house.

Flames tore through the $2.2 million home, still under construction, in a matter of minutes.

"Once it gets into the attic is can easily spread," said Chief Danny Poole of the Raleigh Fire Department.

When fire crews arrived just before 11 p.m., the fire had already destroyed much of the roof.

"We had two lines inside. There was not enough water flow so we had to pull them back out because of the intensity of the heat of the fire inside," Poole said. "We pulled out and started an aerial attack on it."

About 30 minutes after the bucket ladder went up, the fire was out.

Investigators say the roof is destroyed and there is smoke and extensive water damage. One fire investigator said so much water was used to put out the fire, he would not be surprised if the home had to be torn down.

The Lake Boone Trail home, which has four kitchens, three fireplaces, an elevator and movie theatre, spans more than 11,000 square feet.

The house had been under construction for nearly a year and was almost finished.

"It's not just the house, I mean, people think just because you are building a large mansion that it's just about the money," subcontractor Souheil Alawar said. "We put a lot of effort into the style and in the way we laid the stone and countertops, the choices of colors and all of the different designs that went into this."

The house was still in possession of the builder and had gone under contract in the last few weeks.

A westbound lane of Lake Boone Trail between Dixie Trail and Ridge Road was closed to traffic while investigators doused hot spots. The stretch of road reopened by 9 a.m.

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