EDGEWATER - It has been one year since a massive fire destroyed the Avalon apartment complex in Edgewater, leaving hundreds of people without a home. The site where the building once stood remains mostly untouched.
In the last six months, a fence was put up around the complex.
Fire officials recently met with representatives from Avalon to discuss possible new construction projects.
Under law, Avalon could rebuild the apartment exactly as it stood before the fire. However, fire officials told Avalon that they opposed the lightweight construction materials previously used. Many say the lightweight wood construction caused the complex to burn much faster than if it was made out of other materials.
New Jersey Assemblyman Scott Rumana has proposed a law that would prevent all construction of lightweight wood-framed buildings for multi-unit housing. He says that Avalon got lucky because the fire happened early in the evening when not too many people were home. He says that it could have been very different if it happened overnight.
Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland also wants to see a law that would make it mandatory for water sprinklers to be placed in the space between walls and ceilings in case of a fire.
“We are committed to rebuilding at our Edgewater community, but have no definitive plans at this time,” a spokesperson for Avalon tells News 12 New Jersey.
No one was hurt during the fire.