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Fire hits house in unfinished Apex development

Posted September 7, 2009

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— Police and fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of an early morning fire that hit a vacant home in an unfinished Apex subdivision Monday.

Fire hits unfinished Apex development Fire hits unfinished Apex development

Apex Fire Chief Mark Haraway said that a passing motorist called around 3 a.m. about the fire in a house in the L'Hermitage at Beaver Creek subdivision, between Olive Chapel and Caley roads, off N.C. Highway 55.


View Apex fire in a larger map

The two-story house was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, Haraway said. About 30 firefighters from the Apex, Cary and Fairview departments put it out. Wake EMS also responded, but no one was injured.

The 3,500-square-foot house's roof and second floor collapsed. The house will be demolished, because it's been deemed a fire hazard, Haraway said.

The fire appears to be suspicious, he said. Investigators waited until daylight to search for evidence of the cause.

"Because the house was vacant, because there were no utilities to house, it would not appear that there's any reason to think that it would be an accidental fire," Haraway said.

The house is owned by Diversified Communities, a New Jersey-based developer. Calls to a number for the company have not been returned.

The developer abandoned the L'Hermitage project about a year ago due to the economy, leaving behind unfinished and unoccupied homes, Haraway said. Two units are occupied, and police roped off the area in an effort to secure it.

Authorities are always concerned about people breaking into and living in vacant homes as cold weather approaches, Haraway said.

6 Comments

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  • sayitoutloud Sep 8, 2009

    I have noticed several windows busted out thru the year that I have been driving by. Its sad that somebody has to damage somebody elses property.

  • rlaero Sep 7, 2009

    If your one of the two families in there, all you can do is stay there or abandon your home and walk away from it.

    I honestly wouldn't blame them for walking way. But you're ruining your credit and have to live someone if you let your house get forclosed on.

    But realistically, those homes have a cash value of maybe 60 cents on the dollar of what they paid, if that. It's a no win situation for them. You can buy 3000 sf custom homes for 325-350k. 2 1/2 year ago, they were asking 500k.

    Even if that subdivision comes back in several years, they need to build 300-350k homes in there. The market has dropped everywhere and you can't support 500-650k homes that are stacked on top of each other like that.

    You get to the point of no return where those homes will be condemed. It's a shame as some of them were fairly close to being finished. But everybody in the home building game was running out of money, and people just couldnt get loans like they did in the past.

  • maryalicefox Sep 7, 2009

    I heard the sirens early this morning. When I heard on the news about a fire off of Olive Chapel Rd, I jokingly said to my family bet it's in the abandoned subdivision. The design and homes of that subdivision were gorgeous. Overpriced -- you bet. When that land was cleared I had the deer that used to live there come graze in my backyard.

    Patriotsrevenge-- you are right. Those two families have guts to stick it out. I hope for the sake of my subdivision L'Hermitage can move forward.

  • rlaero Sep 7, 2009

    This place is a disgrace for the town of apex.

    God knows how much it would cost to tear these places down, but they do need to be condemed soon and start over.

    I'm not sure why they couldn't have sold the townhomes there to some investor and try to get people in there at some price.

    Those are nice places, but they were just very overpriced. That place can be saved and it's a nice piece of property.

    my guess is that when the economy and market turns around, some developer will take over that property and build houses in there.

    It just needs to be more afforable. People aren't going to pay 500k for houses on lots that small in Apex.

  • patriotsrevenge Sep 7, 2009

    I live close by, and I feel terrible for the two families that live there. They are trapped. No one will buy there in its current condition. It was going to be a nice community if it hadn't been abandoned.

  • Gatsby Sep 7, 2009

    So now the speculators are back to burning them again...

    Did someone mention a recovery? Oh thats right ...The jobless recovery where in the real world homes & cars still cost thousands more than their actual worth and more than avg. Joe can afford.