RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) — As agents investigate, builders keep on building.
Almost a week after the big blaze that brought down Metropolitan Apartments in downtown Raleigh, construction is well underway on a number of similar wood-framed projects across the Triangle – with no surefire ways to prevent the next inferno.
“The issue is, the building is naked,” Kirk Grundahl, Executive Director of the Structural Building Components Association, told ABC11. “It’s defenseless. We have to prevent the fires. If we do that, then the type of construction material is irrelevant.”
The ABC11 I-Team has been asking the tough questions about fire prevention to officials, architects, builders and contractors alike. The prevailing opinion maintains that the downtown fire ignited at the worst time: the stage of construction before any firewalls or sprinklers were installed.
Grundahl, whose organization represents trade professionals across the globe, maintains the key to preventing fires is preventing them from igniting in the first place.
“We don’t know why, unfortunately, this particular fire in Raleigh started,” he said. “Once we know why, we can begin to find solutions.”