Emergency demolition of fire ravaged Jacksonville apartment block begins

American contractor Elev8 Demolition has begun emergency works to dismantle an apartment complex in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, after a fire tore through the newly-built structure just days earlier.

A high reach excavator dismantles the fire ravaged Rise Roro apartment complex. Elev8 Demolition has deployed a high reach excavator to help safely bring down the seven-storey Rise Doro. (PHOTO: Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK)

The fire at Rise Doro complex, a wooden-framed structure comprising 247 residential and mixed-used units, broke out on Sunday 28 January (2024).

Elev8 was appointed to dismantle the structure three days after the fire devastated the seven-storey building, with its team and equipment arriving onsite the following day to begin their initial assessments and preparatory work.

Due to its unsafe nature, works to take the building down are going ahead despite the fact that the cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained.

Works to safely demolish the structure, which will see the use of a 100-ft tall crane and a high reach excavator, are expected to take between eight and ten weeks to complete, at a cost of US1 million.

According to local media reports, the Rise Doro cost an estimated US$60 million to build. It was scheduled to open to its first residents this coming week, pending a final fire inspection and the granting of an occupancy permit.

In a statement, the building’s developer, Rise, praised the effort’s of the city’s emergency services, saying: “RISE remains grateful to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department for its fearless efforts to battle and extinguish the fire despite the unfavorable weather conditions.”

It added: “Our attention now turns to the work of demolition, debris removal, and rebuilding. Throughout the demolition and rebuild process we look forward to keeping the greater Jacksonville community informed of our progress.”

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