Local News

Cause Of Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Fire Investigated

Posted August 17, 2004

— A popular downtown restaurant caught fire early Tuesday morning, suffering significant damage.

No one was in the building when fire broke out at Greenshields Brewery & Pub in Raleigh's City Market just after 2 a.m. An initial inspection shows the fire started in the ventilation system above the kitchen.

Firefighters say old buildings located very close together proved to be obstacles in fighting the fire.

"It's obviously a large structure. There's been a lot of remodeling done," said Assistant Chief Bryant Woodall of the Raleigh Fire Department. "It's just difficult to get to the attic area -- a lot of structural members around this place, so it's hard to get to."

Firefighters used a crane as an access point to get inside the building. A second crane was set up as a precaution.

"We've got a lot of equipment here and a lot of people here, but it's just because of the occupancy of the building and the construction of the building" Woodall said early Tuesday.

Officials said it may take about three months for the Greenshields to reopen, but the fire does not just affect the restaurant. Shop owners at City Market are worried about the effect of losing City Market's largest tenant.

"We're going to have problems getting people to come down because they're going to assume that since Greenshields had a fire, all of the businesses are going to be closed," shop owner Chris Bowman said.

"I think the struggle will be keeping everybody sustained until we get Greenshields back open," said Margaret Mullen, of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said businesses at City Market feed off each other. Many have made it through a struggling economy and parking problems and they vow to stand united again.

"We just want everyone to know we're here, and please keep coming back," Bowman said.

The damage extends beyond the ceiling and attic. The building suffered electrical, sprinkler and water damage. Investigators say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

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Laurie Clowers

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