Communities reconsider landscaping following fires

June 8, 2009 4:30:51 AM PDT
Some question the use of pine straw after a fire ripped through several homes.The latest fire at the Bradley Terrace Complex on Thursday has the mayor of Apex and the fire chief considering restricting pine straw landscaping around townhomes.

Investigators think someone threw a cigarette or match into pine straw, causing a fire to rip through a building that housed six townhomes.

Some homeowners lost everything. But when Aretha Ford came to look over her damaged townhome Friday she was relieved to find much of her things intact.

"Kind of register it all and get my stuff out, but other than out I'm ok," Ford said. "With the dividing wall there was water damage, but ... the fire department was really good about covering up our stuff."

The cause of the fire is the same scenario of a 2007 Raleigh fire. It that incident, fire ripped through 38 townhomes.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly says his fire chief may want to ban pine straw around townhomes and apartment complexes much like the town of Chapel Hill has.

Weatherly says the Bradley Terrace community is already planning to replace the pine straw.

"He's already had staff considering things that he'll be sending through the manager and staff to go to the town council very quickly," Weatherly said.

He says city council may take up the issue during their next meeting on June 17.


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