UPDATE: No cause for Outer Beaches
fire has been identified yet
By IRENE NOLAN
County fire marshal Steve Kovacs said today that he and the Dare County
Sheriff's Office are still investigating the fire that extensively
damaged the main office of Outer Beaches Realty in Avon in the early
morning hours of last Tuesday, Nov. 18.
Meanwhile, Outer Beaches operations manager Bud Smock said the company has all essential services back and running.
"We're up and running as well as we can be," Smock said today. "It's business as usual."
Guests and homeowners should not notice any differences in services, he added.
fire severely damaged the center part of the building, where
administrative offices and the company's central computers and phone
system were located. Offices and two apartments on the west end
of the building and the property management offices and check-in area
on the east end received mostly smoke and/or water damage.
All systems were backed up, Smock said, and staff members have been busy getting them back in working order.
33 employees worked at the main office. Smock said the administrative
offices have been relocated to a large house across the street from the
offices. Other services are being run out of the Outer Beaches
Waves and Hatteras offices.
Reservation lines are up and
working, but guests who are scheduled to check in at the Avon office
should go to the Waves office instead. Those renting a house in
Hatteras village can still check in at the Hatteras office.
A reception for homeowners on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 3 until 5 p.m. will go on as planned, but will be at the Waves office.
also said that no decision had been made about whether or not the
building, which is valued at $1.2 million, is a total loss. And he said
that engineers are still looking at the building and deciding whether
the entire structure will have to be torn down and then reconstructed
or if part of it can be saved.
Kovacs said that he and
sheriff's investigators have ruled out several possible causes for the
fire, which started on the back -- or north side -- of the
building. However, he said they are still examining other
"We will have a better idea next week," he said. "When there is a lot of damage, it's really hard to pinpoint one thing."
Kovacs added that the investigators have found no indication that the fire was deliberately set.
"We do not feel that it is a result of foul play," he said.