Local News

Fort Bragg Fire Destroys Construction Site Near Womack

Posted February 16, 1999

— Fort Bragg fire investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire late Tuesday night at a construction site near Womack Army Hospital. The site was home to four connected buildings being used by a construction company building the new hospital on post.

The Centex Construction site sits just one hundred feet from the new army hospital, but the flames never made it that far.

Construction continued Wednesday inside and outside the new medical center. Everyone but the administrative staff was hard at work.

The staff's four temporary offices were destroyed by Tuesday night's fire. Computers and paperwork were lost.

"With all of the computers, we do have backup tapes and all of that stuff. We do have a lot of backups in the safe right now, and we don't see anything that's going to hurt us," says Bob Gist, Centex Construction Vice President.

The 20 administrative employees displaced by the fire will continue working in temporary offices.

Centex Construction says the grand opening in the fall of this year remains on schedule.

In fact, 98 percent of the $300 million project is already complete. Some office equipment has already been moved in.

In the meantime, investigators still need to determine what sparked the blaze. They spend Wednesday inside the damaged buildings, but have not released a cause of the fire that brought firefighters fromFort Braggand Cumberland County to the scene.

The buildings were already fully engulfed by the time they arrived. At first, investigators were not sure exactly what had burned.

"These types of structures, they have corrugated steel, that type of metal," explains Provost Marshal Lieutenant Colonel Brice Gyurisko. "There were some rooms that may have had computer equipment in them. There may be some cleaning fluid."

The 20 administrative employees will continue working in new temporary offices.

Authorities say MPs called in the fire.


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