Demolition started Friday on the fire-gutted RISE Doro apartment building and could take weeks to remove the structure that had been on the verge of opening in the sports complex in downtown Jacksonville.
Here is what’s next for the demolition and the ongoing investigation of what caused the blaze that broke out Sunday night, burning the seven-story building so badly the city condemned it and the emergency demolition began within days.
How long will the demolition take?
RISE: A Real Estate Company, the developer of the building, said it will take eight to 10 weeks to complete the job. RISE contracted with Elev8, a Jacksonville demolition company, for the $1 million job and will be responsible for paying for the work.
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What caused the fire?
The cause remains under investigation. The Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the building owner’s insurance company all are investigating.
Will demolishing the building impede the investigation?
Mayor Donna Deegan said the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the city’s emergency preparedness division, and the investigating agencies determined it would be dangerous for firefighters of investigators to enter the building because they would face the risk the structure collapsing on them.
“Given that no person can go into the building itself, there was not a reason to wait on the demolition process,” she said. “Investigations will continue as this work proceeds.”
RISE Doro Update: Demolition of the building began this morning. The City, @THEJFRD, @jaxready, and investigating agencies have all determined that the building is unsafe for first responders and investigators to enter – and that there is the potential for collapse. As a… pic.twitter.com/hJvPllKTRv
— Mayor Donna Deegan (@MayorDeegan) February 2, 2024
The investigations will continue on a parallel track to the demolition and “investigating organizations are collecting information by other means,” according to the city.
When will businesses and blocked off streets reopen?
The city closed off an area around the apartment building that contains Manifest Distilling and Intuition Ale Works along with sections of A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, Adams Street, Forsyth Street and Lafayette Street. The closure does not affect Vy Star Veterans Memorial Arena or any of the venues in the sports complex, but it does affect some of roads that move people in and out of the complex for big events.
The city says it will do ongoing assessments of the situation to determine when it is safe to reopen streets and businesses. The city says it moved as quickly as possible to start the demolition because the longer the damaged building is up, the longer it will pose a risk of collapse that keeps nearby businesses shuttered.
How is demolition being done?
Elev8 is using heavy equipment to break up the seven-story building one piece at a time, starting at the top of it.
The demolition will knock down and clear away the damaged wood-frame part of the development but leave intact the concrete foundation and parking garage.
What air restrictions are in place?
The Federal Aviation Administration put in place a temporary flight restriction over the RISE Doro site through Feb. 9, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
Where is the city posting updates?
The city is providing information at jacksonville.gov/risedorofire or jaxready.com/doro for the latest changes.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Demolition starts of Jacksonville apartment building gutted by fire
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