Residents say no work being done at site of downtown Raleigh fire

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Progress has slowed at the Raleigh downtown fire site.

Two short blocks of Jones and Harrington Streets have reopened adjacent to the scene of Raleigh's biggest fire in a century.

But nearby business owners and residents say work at the downtown site has ceased and they are wondering when all streets will reopen.

It's one of the questions posed to City of Raleigh spokesmen by ABC11. But the only answer we got was that the investigation into the cause of the blaze at the then-under-construction Metropolitan Apartments is still "ongoing."

"We're just kind of sitting and waiting," Adam Hoffman, the owner of Clouds Brewing told ABC11.

MORE: Complete coverage of the downtown Raleigh fire

Clouds is the closest restaurant and bar to the fire.

Hoffman says business has been slow in the 10 weeks since the fire in mid-March after all the condo residents in the Quorum Center were put out of their homes when the fire across the street damaged their building.

He also lost other regulars who lived at the Link Apartments which were also damaged by the fire.

Fortunately, most of them have returned.

"As they've slowly moved people in the building we've noticed like some of our regular clientele starting to move back in," Hoffman says.

One of those residents who returned after a month is Emily Mather.

"For the first little while it was pretty noisy with all the construction going on over here. And it's gotten a lot quieter recently." Mather added, "But I'm just glad my dog and I can come out this back door again and go on our walks as normal."

Although Mather says there are rumors that things will get back to where they were before the fire started in the next 18 months, the City of Raleigh isn't confirming that.

And Hoffman says although it appears all the cleanup is now completed, he hasn't heard when all the streets will open or when reconstruction will begin.

The one thing he does know is that the massive blaze is burned into the memories of all who saw it.

He says it is one of those milestones in life.

"There's a little bit of like 'pre-fire', 'post-fire' mentality that's kind of starting to set in."

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