Youth center of downtown Raleigh church damaged in fire

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Edenton Street United Methodist Church’s youth center is just yards from the devastating downtown Raleigh fire and is one of the 10 buildings damaged.

CLICK TO VIEW 40+ PHOTOS OF THE FIRE AND THE DAMAGE IT CAUSED

Embers melted the roof and the water from fighting the fire damaged both floors.

The skylights melted and the church will need to replace the roof. Inside, soaked ceiling tiles fell to the floor.

RELATED: Members of downtown Raleigh church recall massive fire from 1956

PHC Restoration Incorporated arrived on site Friday to start cleaning.

Josh Smith, technical director for the company, said their first steps included removing insulation and drywall that they can’t dry.

Crews put in air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the building.

Smith said they expect to finish drying and demolition sometime late Tuesday.

Workers will start fire and smoke cleanup after that, which could take them three or four days.

After that, they’ll start rebuilding.

Smith said the biggest challenges they face involve the logistics in a tight space downtown.

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It’s an area they know because PHC has a location downtown, so the fire hits close to home.

“It’s always one of those things that happens somewhere else, not here. And, then the magnitude of the fire doesn’t usually happen somewhere here, so to be able to reach out and for people to get the help and the care that they need is a blessing for us to be able to offer the services to them,” he said.”

The worship area suffered the least amount of damage, and so the church youth will likely be able to use it again this Sunday, according to a church staff member.

The cleanup crew from PHC is doing what it can to help, Smith said.

This past Sunday, they even directed traffic for services across the street, he said.

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