Local News

Report: Updated Townhouse Fire Codes Needed

Posted August 31, 2007 4:10 p.m. EDT

— Six months after a wind-driven fire ripped through a north Raleigh townhouse complex, a city report recommended that local fire codes be changed to help prevent future fires.

The Feb. 22 fire, which was sparked by a discarded cigarette and was blown into an inferno by high winds, destroyed 30 townhouses in the Pine Knoll Townes complex off Old Buffaloe Road.

The complex complied with city building codes, but Mayor Charles Meeker called for an investigation to see if the codes should be changed. The city spent $17,000 to have fire safety experts review aerial footage of the fire and the results of the Raleigh Fire Department's probe into the fire.

The final report, which was issued Friday, recommends moving combustible materials like pine straw away from townhouse and apartment complexes and using more fire-retardant soffit materials in the eaves of such buildings, Meeker said.

The City Council is expected to discuss the report's findings at its meeting next Tuesday.