Fire building stabilization set to begin

Published 11:20am Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crews are still working to stabilize the downtown building that was damaged by fire late Sunday night. A structural engineer looked at the issues within the building and especially focused on the south, east and west-facing walls.

“The anchoring of those walls has been compromised due to the fire,” said Guy Taylor, city building official. “But the stabilizing of the building should be done within the next couple of days.”

Five businesses were damaged and five families were displaced as a result of the fire in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue that broke out about 10 p.m. Sunday.

A local contractor is working on the stabilization. Once that’s complete, Lincoln Avenue in front of the fire-damaged building will be fully reopened, according to Taylor.

It will also allow The Spot and Attitudes for Hair to reopen. It’s all in the name of public safety.

“We don’t want to put anybody at risk,” Taylor said.

Insurance company investigators and the state fire marshal continue the investigation on the origin and cause of the fire, which should be done by the middle of next week, according to Taylor.

An electrical engineer looked things over Tuesday.

“We did find an electrical problem in the roof, in the attic space,” said Fire Chief Mark Hovland.

With the amount of loss that should be determined as well, the next step would be to figure out how to proceed, with either demolition or rebuilding.

Tenants might be allowed back in the building next week to retrieve items, but that still isn’t 100 percent yet, Hovland said.

“(The) insurance company wants to keep people out of it yet because it’s still kind of dangerous,” Hovland said.

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