Fire Smoldering At Boardwalk Arcade Extinguished Friday Night

Fire Smoldering At Boardwalk Arcade Extinguished Friday Night Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 03 June 2015 04:00

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Fire Department responded to a fire at the old arcade building on the Boardwalk in the downtown area Friday night May 29th. The Boardwalk Arcade was damaged by fire in September of last year. Crews were demolishing part of the building in preparation to rebuild the structure. Fire Chief Alan Griffin said when they arrived they could see smoke coming from a pile of wood and debris.
He said the smoldering wood never became a full fire. Crews worked for a couple of hours to ensure the soldering wood was fully extinguished.
Town Manager Michael Cramer explained on Saturday, "Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about the fire at the old arcade last night. We don't know what caused the fire, but we do not believe it was because of the demo workers. We did have some hot stops after the fireworks on Thursday and one of them was on top of the old arcade building. It is possible that an ember smoldered until yesterday. We most likely will not be able to determine an exact reason for the fire."
Fireworks shows are held every Thursday night during the busy summer season starting Memorial Day weekend.
Project to Renovate The Arcade Building
Prior to last week's fire,  Cramer explained on May 20th the status of the Arcade project stating, "The town and property owners have spent several months working through the regulatory hurdles associated with building in the Boardwalk District.  The town worked with CAMA (Division of Coastal Management), DOI (Department of Insurance), and the County to first determine if the building was classified as one building with several units or several building."
Cramer explained the regulatory agencies determined the following:
1. There are two parcels involved with the project and both are owned by one organization,
2. Over several centuries the main building was added onto and closed in several times,
3. The buildings have also been split into several separate leased units,
He explained, "Due to this information the building was considered one large building by the regulatory agencies.  This was important because it helps determine how the property can be improved. The property owners hired a building consultant to determine with a structural engineer, what percentage of the building was damaged by the fire.  It was determined that the building sustained less than 50% damage due to the fire and thus it could be renovated rather that razed and rebuilt."
He explained, "Since that time the owners have submitted plans and received several permits. The town issued a demolition permit to allow the owners to remove a section of the western facing wall of the arcade and remove all damaged material from the facility.  The town also issued a permit to the owners to repair the damage to the old Frank’s Pizza unit and to clean and refurbish the T-Shirt unit."
He explained, "The demo has begun on the arcade unit and the town is anticipating detailed plans and structural engineering reports before we issue a building permit for that unit.  The eastern side unit will only need cleaning, since the only damage was from smoke and water damage. The plans and drawing suggest that the arcade unit will contain a smaller arcade and a retail shop and the eastern unit will contain four rental units. Progress is being made and we hope to continue to see progress over the next several months."


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