Local News

Pine Knoll Townes Families Move Back After Fire

Posted September 15, 2007 8:18 p.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2007 9:39 a.m. EDT

— Dozens of residents moved back Saturday into the Pine Knoll Townes townhouse complex off Capital Boulevard.

A discarded cigarette sparked a Feb. 22 fire that destroyed 30 townhouses. The flames reached 40 yards into the sky that day and created a smoke plume that stretched for about 200 yards and was visible for miles.

Mayor Charles Meeker was on hand for Saturday's move-in ceremony.

“It's hard to imagine that things are coming together so quickly. Just seven months ago, this site was total devastation," Meeker said.

"Here we are a few months later, the homes rebuilt and the families moving in. It truly is a testament to all of those who have been working on this to have come together so quickly,” he continued.

About a quarter of Pine Knoll Townes residents did not have homeowner's or renter's insurance. The local Red Cross chapter assisted the victims who lost everything in the fire.

The city paid an independent consultant $17,000 to study the fire and possible changes to city building codes.

The consultant recommended placing combustible material at least 10 feet away from residences and making soffits fire resistant.

The report was suggested that the Pine Knoll Townes fire might have been less severe if those requirements had been in place.