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Report: Updated Townhouse Fire Codes Needed

Posted August 31, 2007

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— Six months after a wind-driven fire ripped through a north Raleigh townhouse complex, a city report recommended that local fire codes be changed to help prevent future fires.

The Feb. 22 fire, which was sparked by a discarded cigarette and was blown into an inferno by high winds, destroyed 30 townhouses in the Pine Knoll Townes complex off Old Buffaloe Road.

The complex complied with city building codes, but Mayor Charles Meeker called for an investigation to see if the codes should be changed. The city spent $17,000 to have fire safety experts review aerial footage of the fire and the results of the Raleigh Fire Department's probe into the fire.

The final report, which was issued Friday, recommends moving combustible materials like pine straw away from townhouse and apartment complexes and using more fire-retardant soffit materials in the eaves of such buildings, Meeker said.

The City Council is expected to discuss the report's findings at its meeting next Tuesday.

6 Comments

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  • rc4nc Sep 1, 2007

    I was born and raised in NC. I spent most of 1980 in Alexandria Va. working in construction. The code in Alexandria Va, at that time required a 12 inch thick masonry wall bewteen townhouse units. That wall extented above the roof. An update to the building code is long overdue in NC.

  • bigbr0ther Sep 1, 2007

    Dont build these houses so dang close. That will put an end to conflagrations. Instead of being ten feet, make it fifteen feet inbetween houses.

  • momof2 Aug 31, 2007

    Seems to me like the fire wouldn't have started without the cigarette. Does the report call for an outdoor smoking ban? That was the real culprit.

  • daMoFo Aug 31, 2007

    And people could stop throwing their smokes on the ground.

  • curiousgeorgia Aug 31, 2007

    About time they did something useful!

  • mrtwinturbo Aug 31, 2007

    The city spent $17,000 to have fire safety experts review aerial footage of the fire and the results of the Raleigh Fire

    Sounds like a good business to be in....fly around and take a picture