Moving forward

Timberglen Apartments under goes major renovations after fire

Michelle Balleck

Life at Timberglen Apart–ments is starting to get back to normal, manager Renata Beason said.

“Things are moving forward now,” she said.

Workers tore off the charred roof and installed new trusses Friday after the July 6 blaze damaged much of Building A. City of Craig crews worked to fix a leak in the driveway entries to the apartments’ lots.

“When the fire happened, we had a hard time finding someone to help us clean up,” Beason said.

But now, Dowling’s, a company out of Avon, has been restoring the interior and exterior of the building.

The balcony off A11, a third-floor apartment rented by Josh Spanicek, Lishelle Olson and Dustin Penrose, caught fire in a grilling accident that night.

The tenants were not cited by the Craig Police Department. Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Chris Nichols said some cities have laws against grills on balconies but that Craig is not one of them.

“It’d be up to the city of Craig or the fire district,” he said, “and we’ve never adopted it.”

Bill and Sally Nash, who have rented a third-floor apartment at the east end of Building A for 15 years, were evacuated during the fire, along with tenants of 12 other apartments. They stayed at a hotel for three nights before returning to their homes.

“(American) Red Cross, they were so good,” Sally said. “I couldn’t believe how great they were.”

Now they have temporary phone and cable lines and are getting along OK. But since reconstruction began, the noise has been bothersome. Even with the couple’s Timberglen history, they are considering a move.

“You can’t believe how loud it is,” she said. “But we’ll stay put, if we can stand it.”

Beason said tenants in three of Building A’s apartments have returned to their original residences and that those from three others moved to other apartments in the complex. Six tenants decided to move to other properties in town.

“They are very disappointed (by the fire),” Beason said, “as anyone would be.”

Owners of Asset Management Services in Gillette, Wyo., who bought Timberglen in October 2004, visited shortly after the fire and went over damages with Beason. Now she’s in charge of getting the place up to code.

“I’m hoping within a couple months we can have it back,” she said. “But it’s really hard to say. We’ll just go week to week and see what can be done.”

Unfortunately, Beason said, the expenses are racking up. The owners had concentrated on fixing up the complex, having completed new siding and roofing on Building A just before the fire. Now they have to start over.

“Even just the (cost of the) roof is extremely high,” she said. “With everything … it just skyrockets.”

Nichols estimated damages of $100,000 the day after the call, but Beason said the number will be much higher by the time she’s done.

Nearly every door in the building had to be replaced, because firefighters had to force entry to search for possible victims when keys were not readily available. Beason said a large amount of drywall has to be redone, as well.

“We are trying to get the best deals,” she said. “We are searching in town, out of town.”

In the meantime, Beason said she’s still flooded with applicants for Timberglen.

“They want to come in,” she said. “They don’t care about the fire. If I took all the people who apply, we’d have to have two more buildings.”

So she’s focused on getting the complex back to normal and habitable again.

“(The tenants) want to have the place back to like it was and they want to have a nice quiet place to live,” Beason said. “So we’re doing all we can to accomplish that.”

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