Local News

Pine Knoll Townes Families Move Back After Fire

Posted September 15, 2007
Updated September 16, 2007

— Dozens of residents moved back Saturday into the Pine Knoll Townes townhouse complex off Capital Boulevard.

A discarded cigarette sparked a Feb. 22 fire that destroyed 30 townhouses. The flames reached 40 yards into the sky that day and created a smoke plume that stretched for about 200 yards and was visible for miles.

Mayor Charles Meeker was on hand for Saturday's move-in ceremony.

“It's hard to imagine that things are coming together so quickly. Just seven months ago, this site was total devastation," Meeker said.

"Here we are a few months later, the homes rebuilt and the families moving in. It truly is a testament to all of those who have been working on this to have come together so quickly,” he continued.

About a quarter of Pine Knoll Townes residents did not have homeowner's or renter's insurance. The local Red Cross chapter assisted the victims who lost everything in the fire.

The city paid an independent consultant $17,000 to study the fire and possible changes to city building codes.

The consultant recommended placing combustible material at least 10 feet away from residences and making soffits fire resistant.

The report was suggested that the Pine Knoll Townes fire might have been less severe if those requirements had been in place.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jeebk04 Sep 17, 2007

    I, for one, am glad that these displaced residents can now return home!!!

  • parr4246 Sep 16, 2007

    "About a quarter of Pine Knoll Townes residents did not have homeowner's or renter's insurance."

    so these people paid cash for their townhomes.........???
    I though NC law required you to have homeowners insurance if you had a mortgage......???

    I know I couldn't close on my loan until I had proof of homeowners insurance.........!!

  • PikeMom Sep 16, 2007

    I hope each and every one of those people smoking outside will think twice before discarding a butte on the ground.And particularly the one who threw the cig.and knew they threw it down.This is usually a habit some smokers have so it shouldn't be too hard to watch and see.He/she will throw another butte down,just watch and see.

  • atozca Sep 15, 2007

    I thought that it was determined that most of the residents who lost their homes in the fire were illegal aliens. Are they still here? Are they the ones moving back in?

  • FragmentFour Sep 15, 2007

    From the stories at the time of the fire, nobody is certain exactly who started the fire, LoneWolf72. There were several groups of people standing outside, multiple people smoking. Which one owned the cigarette that started it is unclear. The fire wasn't noticed until later.

  • LoneWolf72 Sep 15, 2007

    How about holding the person who carelessly, knowingly, and willingly disposed of the cigarette butte responsible for the destruction they caused? Why ignore the root cause and simply say, well, if we don't have flamable materials near the house, then we can let people light the ground on fire....come on...where is the logic? It's bad enough that some smokers liter the ground with ugly buttes, when they cause a fire, they should be held accountable.