Fire At 100 N. Main Example Of Bigger Problem

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The people in Memphis City Hall looked across Main Street and feared the worst. Smoke billowing from the city's tallest building, the vacant 36-story 100 North Main Street. It shows the work the city needs to do, as Local 24's Mike Matthews explains.

100 North Main is a potential 36-story torch. Or head over a few blocks to what used to be The Pier restaurant. There was a fire here just a few nights ago.

It scares firefighters; it's construction, it's made of wood, with large wooden planks holding up the roof.

There's a fence as well, as well as signs of people not paying attention to fences.

The head of Memphis Public Works has been in a few of these buildings, like 100 North Main.

"Oh, I've been in it," says Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht. "There is a hazard in there, because it's a neglected property. And removing that hazard, removing that hazard, removing combustible materials, those other items that restrict fire access, you know, needs to be addressed."

On a windy morning before sunrise, in 2006, Memphis was on fire. At least it seemed that way. A fire at a church resulted in burning embers, embers traveling several blocks because of high winds. Other downtown buildings caught on fire.

There was a moment when officials feared the fire would continue to spread.

This time, they were lucky. "We have to make sure that it doesn't pose a safety risk to any adjacent property owners or civilians or citizens," Knecht says. "That's the concern."


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