Owner will probably rebuild after fire
July 1, 2008
The owner of an Old Town house destroyed in last week’s fire said Tuesday he will probably rebuild a house on the property, but he will not start construction immediately.
Tom Peek said he planned to meet with his insurance company late on Tuesday to discuss the house, which was gutted in the fire. It is not salvageable.
Peek has owned the house for a little more than a year. He rented out the property, which goes by two addresses, 711 Norfolk Ave. and 175 8th St. It is next door to the landmark Angel House, which was damaged in the Friday fire.
The fire started in Peek’s house and spread to the Angel House.
Peek, who lives in Park Meadows, wanted to keep the house as a rental property for a few years before deciding its long-term future.
"Our idea wasn’t to do anything with it but collect rent for five or six years," Peek said, calling it a "good rental for us."
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He owns a house next door, 732 Crescent Tram, which suffered minor damage to the outside walls in the fire, Peek said.
"I look at it and can’t believe it," Peek said about the destroyed house.
Investigators by Tuesday morning had not indicated what caused the fire. Ron Ivie, City Hall’s chief building official and the city’s fire marshal, was expected to publicize the results of his probe as early as late Tuesday afternoon.
There was concern immediately after the fire that the Angel House suffered structural damage, and some were worried the building would need to be razed. Ivie has not provided details about the damage.
Crews at the Angel House on Monday said it remained structurally sound. Rick Lepley, a flood technician with the company Utah Disaster Kleenup who has been inside, said the building can be refurbished.
"I can guarantee it will be just like it was before," Lepley said.
He said the main level of the Angel House suffered terrible water damage, and "quite a bit" of the roof collapsed.
"You can pretty much be in any room in the upstairs and see daylight," he said.
Disaster Kleenup crews arrived early Friday evening and spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the site. Lepley said he expects the crews will continue working there until at least Friday.
The workers planned to remove damaged Sheetrock and tear out carpets on the upper level.
They also removed the furniture on the upper levels. The furniture will be brought to a shop for cleaning and evaluation by insurance adjusters.
He said many antiques were damaged, including dressers. The workers had taken out eight beds and eight dressers or cabinets. Lepley said some are in good condition.
"They were very lucky this house didn’t get damaged a lot more than it did," Lepley said.