Local News

Rolesville Panel Has Fire-Prevention Plan

Posted September 28, 2007

— After two major fires in three months in one neighborhood, Rolesville has proposed a new fire-prevention plan.

A special committee came up with the recommendations, but some say the plan could do more harm than good. If passed, the proposal would change the way houses are built in Rolesville.

“Homebuilders recognize that we always have to look at how events occur, and (ask) are there thing that we can learn from it,” said Tom Minton, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

Minton added, however, that he worries the committee making the recommendations might be over-reacting. The recommendations include using more fireproof material, leaving more space between houses and allowing only certain types of siding.

Builders say the plan would drive up home prices.

“We’re going to have fires in Wake County. We’re going to have them in Rolesville,” Minton said. “We just want to make sure that people are going to be able to afford homes in these communities as well.”

But for many neighbors in the community, you can't put a price on fire safety.

“We’re concerned ourselves. If our neighbor’s home caught fire, or ours, then the homes around it would be at stake,” said homeowner Julie Smith.

The committee that came up with the proposal included town leaders, the fire chief, a citizen and two builders. The recommendations were expected to come before the board of commissioners in a few weeks.


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  • BE Sep 29, 2007

    Who is Harry Simmons....a fire department expert? What qualifies him to say that the FD made mistakes? Just wondering.

  • Simmo Sep 29, 2007

    Another reason for Hardie concrete siding,very little cost difference, lifetime warrenty, fire resistant and easy to install. But first you must have a fire dept that can properly fight a fire in the new enviroment of these closley build houses. The 26 minute video from tv5 helo shows numerous mistakes by the fd. The seconds house should have never lost any thing except the roof. This house could have been saved eventhough there would have been massive amounts of water damage.

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 29, 2007

    I have always preferred Aluminum Siding over vinyl siding, although it does need to be painted just like wood, it is a far better insulator in cold and hot climates. And will not melt away during a fire. If a fire starts outside the home, vinyl siding will melt away exposing the wood. Aluminum does not. It costs more to purchase and maintain, but it's only money, and well worth it.

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 29, 2007

    I always seem to stumble over paragraphs like:

    Homebuilders recognize that we always have to look at how events occur, and (ask) are there thing that we can learn from it,” said Tom Minton,

    Now was Tom Minton asking are there "things" that we can learn from?

    I always rely on the "?" at the end of a sentence if it is a question. It helps when trying to read the rest of the story

    Sorry WRAL just being picky this afternoon.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 29, 2007

    If people did not buy these houses built like trailer parks, the builders would stop building them like they are now. It is the same old supply and demand forces. If I were a builder, so long as I could sell maximum number of units on a minimum amount of land, I would do the same. Builders are in it for the money as is any business person. I for one, would never consider buying a home with my neighbors house 8 to 10 feet away. People make their choices and sometimes they just are not good choices.

  • pinehurstace Sep 29, 2007

    Mr. Steve, all of your suggestions are right on target; however, these changes in the building code are for outside fires.

    Homebuilders are not worried about the added cost, just the cut in their profits.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 29, 2007

    It would be far less expensive is to educate idiots who start the fires in the first place.

    Teach them that you don't plug in more than the wires rating to an extension cord -- and you have to be especially careful when aluminum wiring is involved. Teach them that breakers need to be replaced from time to time. Teach them that you keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen just in case you get a grease fire on the stove. Get and test fire alarms. Don't smoke in bed or in a chair when you are tired. Don't leave candles unattended or unshielded. Maintain a kerosene heater in proper working condition. Don't grill indoors. Keep propane tanks outside. And remember that the propane torch in your hand is spewing fire and can catch other things on fire as well. Don't use volatile chemicals near flame and without ventilation. Either maintain the Christmas tree properly or get an artificial one.

    Teach them the things that their parents should have taught them when they were growing up, but didn't

  • pinehurstace Sep 29, 2007

    When will people learn that home builders are in the business to make money off of rebuilding homes after a fire. If you prevent fires, they loose buisness. Do all the fire prevention building codes have to be written in blood?

  • Scarecrow Cow Sep 29, 2007

    I think the recomendations make perfect sense, and are certainly not over-the-top demands. I can't believe how close the houses are to each other in Wake County. I'm pretty used to it now, but people I know who visit from other parts of the state are shocked that someone would want a house that is only ten feet from their neighbors.