Local News

Fire Erupts At Raleigh Mall Construction Site

Posted September 21, 2001 4:07 a.m. EDT

— Insulation caught fire on the roof over what will be a new Hechts department store at a shopping center in Raleigh.

Contractors on the scene say two tractor-trailer loads of insulation caught fire at 8:45 a.m. on top of the Triangle Towne Center. Fire investigators say a welder's torch started the blaze.

Firefighters had a hard time extinguishing the fire using aerial water cannons. After discovering that the fire was concentrated to the roof, crews determined that the structure was strong enough for firefighters to enter and use hoses.

Raleigh Assistant Fire Chief Larry Stanford said construction crews could have called for help sooner than they did.

"They were there when it was a small fire, and they tried to use fire extinguishers, but they were unsuccessful and that's when they called us," he said.

The building is located on Sumner Boulevard, just off the 6,000 block of Capital Boulevard. Officials say no one was injured.

The heat warped beams in a small area of the roof above what will be Hecht's department store. The cost of damage may exceed $100,000. Triangle Towne Center is scheduled to open after the summer of next year.