Rumors rampant, answers few months after mammoth Raleigh fire
Posted 4:44 p.m. Wednesday
Updated 6:50 p.m. Wednesday
Raleigh, N.C. — Two months after a massive fire destroyed or damaged 10 downtown Raleigh buildings and left hundreds of people looking for temporary housing, the cause of the blaze remains a mystery.
Streets in the immediate area remain closed to through traffic. Heavy equipment moves in an out all day as the cleanup and investigation continue.
Several buildings surrounding the construction site where the fire began remain empty.
In The Quorum, developer Ted Reynolds and 37 other condo owners were forced out by heat, water and smoke damage. Their return won't come quick.
"The building is pretty well going to be gutted. The drywall is all coming out, most of the floors are coming out," Reynolds said.
Rebuilding has yet to begin.
Next week, Reynolds said, Choates Construction will go through each floor of the building, through each condo, and determine what needs to be done.
Around the corner at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, congregants have met in undamaged spaces while they wait for the insurance check to fix $540,000 worth of damage to the roof and youth building, Rev. William McLeane said.
"With a good degree of resiliency, creativity and a great degree of faith we have been able to not only sustain our ministries, but have been able to connect with our neighbors," he said.
Neighbors like the North Carolina League of Municipalities and the North Carolina County Commissioners Association that were housed in the Coates and Reynolds Buildings have had to find temporary office space.
The League of Municipalities faces another move, to the Wells Fargo Center, where they will wait out the fire cleanup. Spokesman Scott Mooneyham said the group could be out of its home for up to 18 months.
Reynolds said he expected it would take a year to return to The Quorum.
"It's frustrating and intriguing," Reynolds said of the wait for an answer on the fire's cause. "The rumors are all over the street."
The Link has allowed about two-thirds of tenants to return, but about 50 apartments were severely damaged. The Metropolitan would not say whether apartments would be rebuilt or demolished.
A city spokesman said Wednesday that local, state and federal investigators have finished gathering evidence at the scene and are in process of analyzing it.