Mayor Vic Deluca updated residents Tuesday night on the follow-up to the massive six-alarm fire at the Avalon Bay apartment construction site Saturday, noting there is not yet a cause determined but the firm had decided to rebuild and continue with the project.
But the mayor said the Township would require that the firm use a "higher level of fire safety plan." He said negotiations would occur to make sure that safety efforts are followed, and the township will hire a structural engineer to ensure that upcoming plans for the project are "structurally sound." He said Avalon Bay would pay for the engineer.
Avalon Bay had been building the 235-unit apartment complex at Springfield and Boyden avenues when a portion still under construction caught fire Saturday morning.
The incident marked the second serious fire for Avalon Bay, which saw hundreds of units in its Edgewater complex destroyed by fire two years ago.
Deluca added that three other development projects in town, including the former post office in Maplewood Village, will be reviewed and make sure that they do not use gas-powered heaters in their ongoing work.
"We are on it and we will be negotiating with Avalon to make sure they are up to our standards," Deluca said. He said demolition of the damaged portion would likely be completed by the end of February, but there is no date when residents would be able to move into the completed apartments.
See his full update below: