Site of Raleigh fire months away from 'back to normal'

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Concrete is removed from the site of the downtown Raleigh fire.

Slow progress is still progress. The site of Raleigh's worst fire in history is slowly but surely coming together.

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Wednesday, construction crews hauled away concrete from The Metropolitan's parking deck and what once was the foundation for the apartment complex that burned to the ground in March.

City officials and inspectors have yet to identify a cause for the fire. Nearby businesses and two residential properties, Link Apartments Glenwood South and the Quorum Center, were severely damaged. There is a sign on Dawson heading into downtown Raleigh informing drivers that businesses are back open.

READ FULL COVERAGE OF THE DOWNTOWN RALEIGH FIRE

Residents who were displaced from the Link have since been relocated within the property, while many residents at Quorum have not been allowed to move back into their homes.

Link resident Morgan Burch told ABC11 that the staff at the Link has gone above and beyond to making sure residents don't feel the impact of the mess and noise from construction.

"The majority of the reason I stayed is because of the staff," Burch said. "There's a lot of support to start with. They are in constant communication with those that could not get back into their apartment. Since then they've tried to remedy the situation as much as possible. I've had a good experience."

ABC11's efforts to reach representatives for the Quorum Center have been unsuccessful, but a source with knowledge of the construction said part of Quorum's side, where brick was severely burned, needs to be replaced before it's considered safe.

In addition, the source said residents should be allowed back into their units "at some point in the first quarter of next year."

Metropolitan officials expect demolition to be completed by mid-to-late October.

"We are halfway through the demolition process at the site, which began six weeks ago," Clancy & Theys said in a statement. "Over the next 16-18 months, we will continue to work closely with local leaders and the community as we rebuild the Metropolitan."

The City of Raleigh says it does not know when Jones and Harrington streets will reopen to through traffic.

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downtown raleigh fireraleigh newswtvdocRaleighWake County
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