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Fire Destroys Nearly Complete Complex

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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A new luxury apartment complex in New Albany, Indiana, that was set to start housing residents within the next month is now undergoing demolition after flames ripped through the building on Saturday (Feb. 25).

Firefighters from four different departments were called to Building B of Breakwater Luxury Apartments, at around 5 a.m. and battled the blaze for more than 25 hours, WLKY News reports.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation Monday (Feb. 27).

Firefighters said that strong winds fanned the fire and made controlling the blaze a challenge for the 90 firefighters who responded to the scene.

The Breakwater, owned by Flaherty & Collins Properties, broke ground in December 2015 and came with a $26.5 million price tag. The unoccupied Building B held 125 of the 191 units and had been scheduled to open by mid-March. The neighboring building that holds the other 66 units opened in January and houses 45 residents. That building was not damaged.

No Sprinklers Installed

In a news release, regional property manager Michael Collins said that there were no sprinklers on inside the building, despite being up to code, because the building was incomplete and had not yet been issued a certificate of occupancy.

“We want to thank the New Albany Fire Department and other local fire departments who are providing help for their steadfast efforts," he said. "We will certainly work diligently to fix the damage to the building.”

Although the property’s website does not have any update on the timeline of demolition and reconstruction (as of Feb. 27) the Breakwater Facebook page posted an update late Monday morning urging anyone with questions to contact them.

“We are fully staffed and ready to assist our residents and the community, as we have been since the fire began,” the post said.

Though the Flaherty & Collins Properties website also does not have an update, it does note that the 206,000-square-foot development was under the final stages of construction and touts that the company was “putting the finishing” on the New Albany site.


Tagged categories: Building codes; Building operations; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Construction; Demolition; Fire; Infrastructure; Residential Construction

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