Edgewater fire victims rebound; talks underway to rebuild

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland says he is talks with Avalon representatives about rebuilding, but he has concerns.

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland says he is talks with Avalon representatives about rebuilding, but he has concerns.

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland says he is talks with Avalon representatives about rebuilding, but he has concerns. (6/25/15)

EDGEWATER - More than five months after a massive fire burned apartments in Edgewater, many residents are back on their feet and talks are underway to rebuild.

Within half a day of the massive fire in January, people had donated about $180,000 through the nonprofit "Edgewater Strong" to help about 1,000 residents who were displaced from the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex. Many residents stayed in the community.

"They're doing well. Most of the families have found permanent housing," says Edgewater Strong trustee Sandy Rubinstein. "Most of them stayed in Edgewater. Everyone helped each other."

This wasn't the first time that a fire started at the complex, as one had started when the complex was first under construction.

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland says he is talks with Avalon representatives about rebuilding, but he has concerns. "Nothing's etched in stone yet," he says. "However, we would like to see that concrete-steel type of construction. I don't think, as mayor, I could ever approve something along that lightweight construction again."

McPartland says he hopes to see preliminary blueprints by the end of this year.

Avalon declined News 12's request for an interview.

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