I-Team: Why Raleigh fire cleanup is a painstaking process

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The stress continues to simmer.

Four weeks after the devastating fire in downtown Raleigh, dozens of residents remain displaced as crews work furiously to rescue and restore whatever they can.

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"It has been very difficult to focus," Kenneth Morris, a homeowner at the Quorum Condominiums, told ABC11. "I've got a job to do. I've got all this stuff I have to worry about."

Morris' unit sustained major water damage after the five-alarm fire torched the Metropolitan Apartments under construction at the corner of Jones and Harrington streets. After weeks of investigations by state and federal investigators, the Raleigh Fire Marshal's office still has not confirmed a cause of the inferno.


"There's no certainty of when I can come home," Morris added.

The ABC11 I-Team was given brief access to the Quorum as a team from Carolina Restoration Services continued its task of clearing out Morris' condo as well as two others. A manager for CRS confirmed its teams are also helping restore five apartments at the Link, another damaged property.

"Some things have a lot of odor to them," Christy Davidson, who works on-site for CRS, explained to ABC11. "Because of the amount of time it's taken since the fire happened to the time we got here, there's mildew."


Davidson explained her teams are helping restore everything from clothing to china to furniture - and everything must be documented and inventoried for insurance purposes.

"Insurance needs to know exactly what (the homeowner) had," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Link confirmed 55 of 204 units remain uninhabitable. The American Red Cross is also helping nine people displaced by the fire.

As residents marked four weeks since the fire, the contractor and property developer - Clancy & Theys Construction and Banner Real Estate Group - issued a joint statement on their efforts to clean up the damage and clarify plans:

"Yesterday we began the cleanup process from last month's fire. Safety and compliance continue to be our number one priority. We are working closely with the City of Raleigh each step of the way as we clear the site and begin to rebuild the Metropolitan."

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