ALLOUEZ – Fire investigators are back on the scene, nearly three months after a massive apartment complex fire in Allouez, looking for a cause.
The 74-unit Hilltop Place apartments caught fire on May 23. No one was injured in the fire, but more than 100 people were displaced.
There hasn't been much activity at the scene since the fire, until Monday.
Fire officials say the goal is to clear enough of a path through the rubble, into the basement where it's believed the fire originated.
But that doesn't mean there will be an answer, which is proving difficult for some.
"They got the renters out, got it all cleaned up and then – poof," said Rick Turriff, a Shorewest realtor.
Turriff says the length of time the burned out building has stood untouched is posing a bit of a problem for him and his clients. They’re trying to sell a house right across the street from the burned out skeleton of the apartment building.
Originally for sale by owner, the home's been listed by Turriff for about two weeks.
"It's like, should I put it on the market, should I wait,” said Turriff of the homeowners, “And they really couldn't wait."
Fire officials say the investigation had to, as various insurance companies with a stake in the cause of the fire needed to get on the same page.
Security has patrolled the locked up property since the fire. Now an excavator is clearing a path through what's left of the building.
The apartment management company says it has no comment on the routine investigation by the insurance company.
"It’s a collective – we're trying to get into the building, dig out some of the rubble so that our crews and investigators can go in and take a closer look," said Lt. Nick Craig with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department.
Craig says it could take as little as one day to determine the cause...or possibly never at all.
"And, unfortunately, there's the other possibility that at the end of the week, we still end up with an undetermined," said Craig.
"It’s good to see some action," said Mike Moore, who lives right next to the apartment building.
He says the building is an eyesore and it still smells after it rains.
Moore says he thought the building would have been taken down by now, but understands why it isn't.
"There's a lot of money involved and they want to make sure they know exactly what the cause was," said Moore.
It’s possible that crews will be on scene until Friday, at the latest.
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