OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Fortunately for the residents who live near the sea of debris from the Canton Apartment Complex burning down in February, their days of having to look at what they call an “eyesore” are coming to an end.
“We drive by it every day. It looks like a war zone, and it has since day one,” said Melissa Hoehn, a nearby resident. “It’s not very attractive. We don’t think it’s safe. We think there’s, you know, there’s hazardous material in there.”
In February, Oklahoma City firefighters were called to a fire at The Canton at Classen Curve, where the almost-built five-story apartment building went up in flames. It is the largest known commercial fire in the history of Oklahoma City, according to OKCFD.
KFOR was told the cleanup effort couldn’t start until the investigation into what started the fire was complete. A report released a few weeks ago revealed the flames were accidentally started by an electrical issue.
Hines was the developer behind the building, and Humphrey’s Capital was the lead investor.
The CEO of Humphrey’s, Blair Humphreys, said in a statement, “While this process took longer than anyone hoped, we are grateful for the diligent work required to reach a conclusion.”
He added, “The path forward will be determined by many factors, including the insurance claims process.”
Meanwhile, for the last five months, the residents say they’ve struggled to find out when the debris will be cleaned up.
“It’s embarrassing when our friends and family come to visit, and the site looks exactly like it did the last time they were in town… This was my third attempt with the city to get answers on this pile of debris,” said Hoehn. “So, I reached out to Channel Four in hopes that you all could start digging for us.”
On Wednesday, Humphrey’s Capital confirmed to KFOR it “expects debris removal to begin in the next seven to 10 days.”
In their statement, the company added they “look forward to quickly completing cleanup at the site.”